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University Finances

Ten Stories that Shaped 2021

Ten Stories That Shaped 2021

At Harvard, 2021 was a year marked by change. The school’s long-awaited return to in-person operations injected new life into a campus that had been left dormant for over a year by Covid-19. And in an unexpected shift, the University announced its intention to divest its endowment from fossil fuels after a decade of public pressure. Separately, faculty controversies — including a federal conviction and a high-profile departure — ignited debates that rippled across academia. Below, The Crimson looks back at the 10 stories that shaped the last year at Harvard.

Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf
IOP

Kennedy School Directs Budget Surplus Toward Diversity and Equity Initiatives

HKS Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf said in an interview Tuesday that because of the surplus, HKS broke even over the past two years — an outcome he said was “much better” than the school had feared.

Thomas Hollister
Central Administration

University CFO Says Harvard ‘Moving in the Right Direction,’ Despite Pandemic Costs

Harvard chief financial officer Thomas J. Hollister said the University’s finances are “moving in the right direction” in a Wednesday interview, though he cautioned that officials remain alert in the ever-changing landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic.

William F. Lee
University Finances

Lee Set to Leave Top Post on the Harvard Corporation in June

William F. Lee ’72, who holds the top post on the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — is set to leave the board in June after 12 years.

Harvard Management Company
University Finances

Harvard’s Shareholder Panel Votes On Three Facebook Governance Measures

Harvard’s Committees on Shareholder Responsibility voted on three resolutions presented to Facebook shareholders during the last fiscal year, according to a report published earlier this month.

Harvard Management Company
Endowment

Harvard Management Company Sells Holdings in Tech, Increases Facebook Investments in Third Quarter

HMC sold its holdings in several technology and pharmaceutical companies while increasing its investments in Facebook in the third quarter of 2021.

Deans Annual Report Figures
FAS

Defying Projections, FAS Ends Fiscal Year with $51M Surplus

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences ended fiscal year 2021 with a $51 million surplus, according to the Dean’s annual report, which was presented during a monthly faculty meeting Tuesday.

HMC Building
Central Administration

Despite Historic Returns, Harvard Endowment Still Trails Ivy League Peers

Though the Harvard Management Company reported record-breaking returns last Thursday, several financial experts said it still lags behind the performance of key financial indices and its peer institutions.

Harvard Management Company
Endowment

Harvard’s Endowment Soars to $53.2 Billion, Reports 33.6% Returns

Harvard Management Company returned 33.6 percent on its investments for the fiscal year ending in June 2021, skyrocketing the value of the University’s endowment to $53.2 billion, the largest sum in its history.

Massachusetts Hall
Endowment

Harvard Ended Fiscal Year 2021 with $283 Million Surplus, Despite Losing $124 Million in Revenue

Harvard finished the fiscal year ending in June 2021 with a budget surplus of $283 million, despite a $124 million drop in revenue, according to the University’s annual financial report released Thursday.

Buyout Numbers Graphic
Central Administration

Nearly 700 Harvard Workers Take Buyout Incentive

Just shy of 700 Harvard employees took buyouts last year as part of an early retirement program designed to cut costs amid the coronavirus crisis.

HMS 2
Harvard Medical School

HMS Dean Outlines Financial, Institutional Goals in State of the School Address

Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley ’82 lauded HMS faculty, affiliates, students, and staff for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic and reiterated institutional values in his State of the School address over Zoom Tuesday.

HMC Building
Endowment

Experts Predict Strong Harvard Endowment Returns Ahead of October Report

Several financial experts predicted that the Harvard endowment will post returns of at least 20 percent for fiscal year 2021, which would bring the endowment to its largest sum in history.

Loeb House
Central Administration

Bacow Insists Harvard’s Move to End Fossil Fuel Investments is ‘Consistent’ with Past Positions

When University President Lawrence S. Bacow said earlier this month that Harvard would move to end its investments in the fossil fuel industry, the activists who had been pushing him to do so for years celebrated the news as a seismic shift.

Divest Rally
Endowment

Celebrating Harvard’s Divestment Decision, Fossil Fuel Divest Organizers Lay Out Next Steps

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard plans to encourage the University to invest in green economic initiatives after Harvard’s surprise announcement that it intends to divest from fossil fuels.

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