(Photo: The New York Times)

Yale’s endowment lost 24.6 percent of its value last year. But just the year before, the University’s investment guru made $3.7 million for running the endowment, according to tax documents Yale filed last month.

Chief Investment Officer David Swensen was paid a salary of $781,570 and a bonus of $2.9 million in 2008 — before the endowment had fallen from $22.9 billion in June 2008 to $16.3 billion by June 2009. Though Swensen’s take in 2008 was a 31 percent jump from what he made in 2007, his salary and benefits grew less than they did from 2006 to 2007, when Yale’s endowment was the top-performing educational fund in the country and Swensen’s pay doubled to $2.8 million.

Yale’s endowment is still smaller than that of Harvard, where the five highest-earning investment managers all made more than Swensen, according to a BusinessWeek report.

Figures for the endowment’s current value will not be released until this fall, while the amount Swensen was paid in 2009 will not be released until next year.