It’s official: this year’s Senior Class Gift campaign broke last year’s record.
When the campaign ended last night at midnight, 97.3 percent of current seniors had contributed to the gift, topping last year’s total by just 0.3 percent. Courtney Fukuda ’12, who co-chaired the campaign with Joey Mensah ’12, said they learned they broke the record during an event at Box 63 held to cap off the fundraising.
“We had come into the evening hopeful but not certain that it would happen,” Fukuda said. “Once it was 11:10 and we made it to 97.1 percent, we certainly celebrated.”
Fukuda said she does not yet have data on the amount of money raised in total. But because the campaign surpassed last year’s participation record, an anonymous donor will give $100,000 to the campaign, Fukuda said. And since three colleges — Branford, Davenport and Ezra Stiles — had perfect participation rates, other anonymous donors pledged $10,000 to the campaign for each of those colleges.
Berkeley, Saybrook and Silliman each notched 99 percent participation rates, with just one student in each college not donating, Fukuda said.
Local students attending some of Connecticut’s top colleges, including Yale, may lose access to state scholarship funding as part a proposal from Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Malloy, who testified before the General Assembly’s Education Committee on Tuesday, is seeking to cut $6.7 million in funding from the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant program (CICS), which provides need-based scholarships to Connecticut students attending in-state private colleges. Under Malloy’s proposal, Connecticut schools with endowments of more than $200 million would lose CICS eligibility — the six colleges who fit that criteria are Yale, Wesleyan University, Connecticut College, Trinity College, Quinnipiac University, and Fairfield University.
The same scholarship program was cut last year under Malloy’s budget from $23 million to the current level of $18 million. And the governor’s proposed cuts would bring program funding down further to $11.3 million. Last year CICS awarded scholarships to more than 5,400 students at 16 different schools.
As this year’s Senior Class Gift campaign nears its end, organizers say they’re on track to beat last year’s record of 97 percent participation.
Last Thursday, Kevin Ryan ’85, the CEO of shopping website Gilt Groupe, sponsored a 24-hour challenge in which he pledged funds if the class of 2012 could reach certain participation benchmarks. In a 24-hour period, donations rose from $26,629.93 with 78.5 percent participation to $28,871.30 with 85.4 percent participation. Because the percentage participation surpassed 85 percent, Ryan donated $7,000 to the campaign. Had they surpassed 91 percent or 97 percent, he would have donated $10,000 or $15,000, respectively.
Courtney Fukuda ’12, who co-chairs the Senior Class Gift campaign with Joey Mensah ’12, said the campaign is on track to beat last year’s participation. As of this morning, 87.9 percent of seniors donated a total of $29,256.66; at the same time last year, 83.4 percent of the class of 2011 had donated $35,109. At the end of this year’s 24-hour challenge, only 184 seniors had not donated, Fukuda said.
“At this point, I feel like it took us a while to gain momentum and get people who wanted to give to click the button and do it,” Fukuda said. “I actually think we have a good chance [of beating last year’s record].”
Fukuda said she and the other organizers of the campaign will be reaching out to students face-to-face. They’ll also host an event at Box 63 Wednesday night starting at 9 p.m., as a final effort to gather donations before the campaign ends at midnight.
An annual report released by the Council for Aid to Education on Wednesday showed that 14 Connecticut universities raised a combined $746 million in 2011, with Yale receiving more than three quarters of all donations.
Spurred by the end of the Yale Tomorrow fundraising campaign, the University’s $580 million total was the third largest in the country, falling short of Stanford’s $709 million and Harvard’s $639 million. According to the report, national fundraising totals exceeded $30 billion in the 2011 budget year, an 8.2 percent jump from 2010.
In Connecticut, Yale’s fundraising far outpaced the second place University of Connecticut, which raised $38.6 million. Other top fundraisers included Wesleyan University with $36.5 million, Trinity College with $24.7 million and Fairfield University with $16.2 million.
Five other Connecticut institutions raised over $5 million, the report said.
Yale acquired a roughly $23.2 million stake in a Chinese index fund during the last fiscal quarter.
According to a report the University filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the three-month period that ended Dec. 31, the Yale Investments Office also sold shares in TiVO, Inc. and bought shares of Zipcar, Inc. The investments listed that were also in last quarter’s Form 13F — which the SEC requires of all institutional investment managers who oversee more than $100 million in public equities — increased in value between October and December.
But the $200 million of holdings in the filing indicate little about the overall performance of Yale’s investments, as they only represent about one percent of the University’s $19.4 billion endowment. The vast majority of Yale’s endowment funds are not listed in the report because they are handled by managers external to the University. International equities, hedge funds, private equity and real asset classes are also not included in the filing.
Yale celebrated its $3.88 billion Yale Tomorrow campaign this September, turning the campus blue in recognition of a record-breaking campaign during one of the worst economic recessions in U.S. history.
More than three years after the onset of the recession, administrators say Yale’s budget has still not fully recovered.
In a letter to faculty today, University President Richard Levin and Provost Peter Salovey said that although the University endowment rose by 21.9 percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30, a rise in spending is expected to outpace an increase in revenue for the 2012-’13 academic year. This anticipated gap will require administrators to make budget cuts — but not the “across-the-board cost reductions” experienced in recent years.
“This year’s budget process will close the Fiscal Year 2013 gap, and give us time to reflect on the future priorities for the University and the best approach for funding them,” Levin and Salovey said. “Over the coming months, and extending into next fall, we will be working with deans, directors, faculty, and staff to identify the most important priorities for the future and how we might find the resources to advance them.”
Salovey and Levin said budget cuts have reduced the $350 million budget gap that followed the roughly 25 percent investment loss in fiscal year 2009. But revenue is only expected to increase by 2.6 percent next year because of the endowment’s spending rule while expenses are anticipated to grow by 6 percent.
When Yale economics professor Robert Shiller uses the word “bubble,” people listen.
The Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics said Wednesday that the United States bond market could be in a bubble, according to a report by Bloomberg News. At a conference in Oslo, Shiller said long-term interests are currently at a “record low.”
Shiller’s 2000 book “Irrational Exuberance” foresaw the end of the dot-com bubble, and he saw the housing bubble coming, as well. In a March 2011 interview with the News, Shiller discussed the recent housing crisis, stating that he did not think a bubble in real-estate will emerge again soon.
“My feeling right now is that the housing market is so damaged, our psychology is not ready to go gangbusters on another bubble, not for years,” Shiller said.
Named one of the 50 most influential individuals in global finance by Bloomberg News, Shiller has worked at Yale since 1982.
As the city’s economy continues to recover from the recession, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said last week that New Haven’s retail market had one of the strongest years “in recent memory.”
Thirty-six new retail businesses opened in New Haven in the last year, DeStefano announced in a Wednesday press release. New additions to the city range from multi-billion-dollar national chains, such as the Apple Store at 65 Broadway and the Verizon Wireless store at 72 Church St., to local startups, including Arpaia Lang Jewelry at 806 Chapel St. and the Cave A’ Vin bar at 975 State St.
Anne Haynes, head of the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven, said that large-scale institutions and developments — 300 George Street, Higher One, Science Park — are acting as “magnets” for the city, spawning tertiary business developments in their wake.
These new businesses did little to help New Haven’s unemployment rate, though, which stayed at 9 percent throughout the year, City Hall spokeswoman Elizabeth Benton ’04 said.
Scrambling to wrap those last few presents? Drop the fancy wrapping paper, put down the ribbon and stop channeling Martha Stewart — a recent Yale study suggests you might be better off keeping it simple.
Elaborate wrapping heightens gift recipients’ expectations and may not improve the giving and receiving experience, according to research conducted by School of Management professors Nathan Novemsky and Ravi Dhar. Rather than making a less desirable gift more appealing, nice wrapping increases the disappointment of receiving unwanted presents. The researchers also concluded that wrapping desirable gifts plainly can increase recipients’ glee upon opening because their expectations for the gift are not overly heightened.
“Dial down the amount of effort, the amount of time, the amount of expense you’re willing [to] put into gift wrapping because it’s not really making people happier,” Novemsky said in a Thursday interview with Marketplace.
In 2010, 14 percent of Yale graduates employed one year after graduation chose jobs in the business and finance sector, according to the article. This percentage represented a smaller number than those working in education, at 24 percent, and in industry — which includes manufacturing, consulting, and sales and marketing jobs — at 21 percent.
In addition, about 9 percent of employed Yale graduates worked in the government and public service industry in 2010, while 6 percent worked in the fine and applied arts and 5 percent took jobs in law-related fields.
That same year, 20 percent of Harvard graduates who held jobs at graduation went into financial services, while 13 percent went into consulting, 12 percent into health or medicine and 11 percent into education. At Princeton, 35.9 percent of 2010 graduates held finance jobs at graduation, while 25.6 percent worked in the services industry, which includes consulting, and 20.8 percent chose the non-profit sector, which includes education.
The article traces data on employment trends among Yale, Harvard and Princeton graduates back to 1985 for Yale, 2006 for Harvard and 2000 for Princeton.
Though each university categorizes employment industries in different ways, making comparisons across the three schools challenging, the article’s data suggests that over the past decade, Harvard and Princeton graduates have chosen finance jobs more often than any other industry, followed closely by consulting. Among Yalies, however, the data indicates that the most popular industry over the decade has alternated between education and finance, with more Yalies working in education than finance in 2002, 2006 and 2010, and more working in finance than education in 2000 and 2004. The number of Yalies working in education and finance tied in 2008 at 26 percent each.
Overall, the percentage of employed Harvard, Yale and Princeton graduates holding finance jobs after graduation has decreased since 2006. At Yale, the percentage has been declining since its peak in 2000 at 31 percent, averaging in the mid-to-low 20s from 2002 onward and eventually reaching a low of 14 percent in 2010.
Beginning in 2012, Yale will help offset the federal taxes gay and lesbian employees pay on health coverage received by their partners.
Compensation and Benefits Director Hugh Penney said in a Thursday email that Yale will pay employees with same-sex spouses and in civil unions $1,500 a year to help cover the cost of a federal tax on employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners. Though same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, it is not recognized under federal law and domestic partner health benefits are considered to be taxable income.
“Because of the increasing discrepancies between the state and federal tax treatment of the health care benefits provided to same-sex marital partners, a number of employers have begun to partially or fully offset the federal tax,” Penney said. “Yale has long been progressive in providing equality of benefits for same-sex couples.”
Due to an accounting error, Yale failed to withhold income that covered the federal tax on domestic partner health benefits in 2010. To make up for its failure, the University decided to deduct the funds from the 2011 salaries of roughly 60 affected employees.
The action prompted the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest organization in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights, to ask that the University pay for the 2010 mistake and offset the federal tax in the future.
Penney said this year’s decision, approved by the Officers of the University, was not in response to the 2010 payroll problem but instead stemmed from discussions with LGBTQ employees that illustrated the “symbolic and financial importance” of the change.
The average minimum withholding was approximately $1,500 and the maximum about $3,000 in 2010, Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Michael Peel said in an email in January 2011.
Reimbursements that begin on Jan. 1 will amount to $125 per month for eligible faculty and managerial and professional staff — an approximate average of the tax incurred across employees, according to a Tuesday article in the New York Times’ Bucks section. Under the new policy, only employees whose partners are not allowed health insurance from a different source will be reimbursed.
Columbia University will also begin reimbursing eligible employees next year, and the two Ivy League schools will join Syracuse University and Bowdoin College as the only educational institutions to help offset the federal tax on domestic partner health coverage.