Stanford’s endowment has declined steeply since July, although not as much as market indexes. Facing “the tightest financial outlook we have seen in decades,” Stanford’s president, John Hennessy, said Thursday that the school would cut its general funds budget by 10 to 12 percent over the next several years. Hennessy is the most recent university leader to send a cautious, but reassuring note to his faculty and students; Harvard President Drew Faust warned of “unprecedented endowment losses” Monday, and Yale’s own Richard Levin wrote about “the possibility of a slowdown in our financial returns” on Oct. 21.