The Rich Get Richer (High Ed Edition)
Via Inside Higher Ed: Does Harvard Need Your Money?
It didn’t take long for the criticisms to begin rolling in after Harvard University announced a $400 million donation to its engineering college.
The gift was proudly touted by the university as its largest-ever gift, and a significant step toward reaching the towering $6.5 billion fund-raising goal of its ongoing capital campaign.
Yet for many others, the gift didn’t make sense. They questioned why wealthy donors repeatedly choose to give large sums to the wealthiest university in the world.
Harvard has a $36 billion endowment that last year had a 15 percent investment return. The university has more than $43 billion in total wealth. It’s part of a prestigious pack of 10 rich universities that hold more one-third of all the wealth in higher education.
Certainly people are free to give whatever they want to whomever they want. However, it is hard to look at this and not think how much good would come of a series of smaller donations to truly underfunded institutions rather than a so much going to an already exceptionally wealthy one.