Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin colleges will receive additional funds this year to support their inaugural year of operations. But in the future, Yale will keep with a decade-old policy of keeping residential college budgets identical on a per-student basis.
The supplementary funds will be used to buy equipment that Yale’s other 12 colleges have, such as handcarts and projectors, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Tamar Gendler and Yale College Dean Marvin Chun said in a joint statement to the News. Head of Benjamin Franklin College Charles Bailyn said Chun’s office worked with Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin leadership to ensure that funding for student activities in the new colleges is comparable to that of existing colleges.
“All colleges start with the same annual budget, plus minor adjustments for college size,” Gendler said. “As part of their construction and startup, the new colleges have received additional funds to acquire nonprogrammatic equipment items that existing colleges already own.”
The construction of the two Prospect Street facilities marks the first expansion of the residential college system since the addition of Ezra Stiles and Morse colleges in 1962. The current expansion, which was funded entirely by donations, was slated to have cost between $500 and $600 million in 2013 dollars. Donations for Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray included a $250 million gift — the largest single donation in Yale’s history -— from Charles Johnson ’54.
“My understanding is that Mr. Johnson’s generous support went largely toward construction,” Bailyn said. “It’s not going toward ongoing program costs.”
As part of a University-wide financial overhaul in 2010, the Office of the Provost — then headed by current University President Peter Salovey — began the process of equalizing the funds available for each residential college. Consequently, residential colleges gave up discretionary funds sourced from donor gifts and bequests over the years and began to receive money from a centrally sourced pool of funds.
The measure was put in place as unprecedented levels of endowment growth under Chief Investment Officer David Swensen and Senior Director Dean Takahashi threatened to exacerbate differences in funds available for each residential college. Moreover, with neither college yet to officially see any of its students graduate, both new residential colleges would be at a significant disadvantage under the previous system, under which alumni donated directly to their colleges.
At the time of the financial reorganization, Chun, then the master of Berkeley College, supported the change but noted the importance of giving each residential college’s leaders the opportunity to use their funds to improve the student experience.
Chun noted that, under the current system, alumni contributions do not go toward the “selective enhancement” of any particular residential college.
“Equity is very important,” Chun said. “When I started [as master of Berkeley] there was disparity, and, during my time, it was all equated, with minor adjustments … per capita.”
Pauli Murray College’s buttery will be opening for the first time Wednesday night and will feature a signature dish called the “Pauli Pocket,” according to Pauli Murray Head Tina Lu.
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