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Archive for Friday, October 9, 2009

KU Endowment’s value declines, support to university remains near record

October 9, 2009, 11:33 a.m. Updated October 9, 2009, 2:07 p.m.

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New trustees elected to KU Endowment board

At its 118th annual meeting, the board elected these new trustees:

• Jill S. Docking, Wichita, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents and first vice president-investments of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC in Wichita.

• Gregory M. Graves, Stilwell, chairman of the board and CEO of Burns and McDonnell in Kansas City, Mo.

• David L. Murfin, Wichita, president of Murfin Drilling Co. and chairman and CEO of Murfin Inc. Both Wichita-based companies have diverse business operations.

• Ramón Murguía, Kansas City, Kan., a private practice attorney in Kansas City, Mo., focusing on counseling small- and medium-sized businesses and real estate administration.

• Warren J. Newcomer Jr., Topeka, president of Newcomer Funeral Service Group in Topeka.

• William B. Taylor, Overland Park, retired from Ernst and Young, where he worked with domestic and international clients, primarily in the financial services industry.

• Gregs G. Thomopulos, Iowa City, Iowa, president and CEO of Stanley Consultants in Muscatine, Iowa.

The value of the Kansas University Endowment Association’s endowed funds fell 22 percent in a year of financial tumult, ending the 2009 fiscal year at $960 million.

In the year, which ended June 30, KU Endowment provided $105.4 million in support to the university, a 6 percent drop-off from the previous fiscal year, but still the second-highest amount in school history. That figure represents the amount of money KU Endowment gives to support a variety of different areas of KU, including student scholarships, faculty support and facilities.

Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment, said that in recent months, the market had been more favorable, and as of Sept. 30, the market value of the funds had risen back above $1 billion.

“Times change, as they did during the year last year,” Seuferling said while attending Friday’s annual meeting, during which the figures were announced. “It’s encouraging that the last quarter has been more positive.”

While the overall level of support to the university was down during the last fiscal year, the association reported a 7 percent increase in student support and a 16 percent increase in faculty support. Much of the overall decrease came from a steep decline in support for facilities.

This marks the second year in a row the market value of the funds has dropped. In the 2008 fiscal year, the market value of the endowed funds fell to $1.22 billion from $1.24 billion, feeling the beginning of the effects of the fiscal crisis. Before that year, the association had enjoyed years of double-digit positive returns.

Still, a record number of donors — 45,186 — contributed a record $106.4 million to KU Endowment in the 2009 fiscal year.

Seuferling said the figures represented a “very good year in a very challenging time and a very difficult time.”

Planning is ongoing for an upcoming capital campaign, Seuferling said, as Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little is in the process of identifying priorities based on the university’s needs. KU Endowment has already begun a “quiet phase” of the campaign, he said.

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