September 26th, 2012 | University

Harvard endowment falls .05 percent

Harvard Yard
Harvard Yard Photo by ChenSiYuan/Creative Commons.

Harvard University’s endowment fell to $30.7 billion in the latest fiscal year after experiencing a 0.05 percent loss in investments.

The slight decline of the largest endowment in higher education is a substantial reversal from fiscal year 2011, when the school reported a 21.4 percent return on investments. Equities in emerging markets were hit particularly hard in the fiscal year that ended June 30, suffering a 17.43 percent decline, according to Reuters.

“The markets during the last year continued to be choppy and highly sensitive to unresolved macroeconomic headwinds,” Jane Mendillo, president and CEO of Harvard Management Company, said in a Wednesday statement.

Harvard is not the first Ivy League school to post a significantly weaker endowment return for fiscal year 2012. Last week, the University of Pennsylvania reported a 1.6 return on investments, and Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman said in a Sep. 13 interview with Bloomberg she expects the school to post a return of zero to 5 percent.