The Penn State Endowment…. Who’s Getting Rich?

Over the last few years, the fees paid out to Penn State’s Investment Advisers have increased from approximately $11 Million per year, to nearly $75 Million per year.

These fees are approved by the PSU Board of Trustees every year…. without comment, question, or opposition.

That INCREASE of $64 Million per year would fund over 3,000 Full Scholarships for worthy Penn State students – every year.

Why has our Board of Trustees – every one of the 38 members, each charged with responsible stewardship of Penn State’s resources – been sitting on their ass doing nothing, while those dollars are frittered away?

Three Monkeys 2

Where do these gigantic chunks of money go?  Money that should be paying for scholarships, research, academics, etc.

Those gigantic chunks of money go to “Investment Advisors”.
Investment Advisors selected and approved by their friends on the Penn State Board of Trustees.
Those dollars simply disappear into the ether – neither serving any discernible purpose, providing any benefit to the University, nor leaving any trace as to their ultimate destinations.

And no explanation – or even curiosity – from the Trustees charged with safeguarding Penn State’s assets.

Penn State Endowment: Administrative Expense Growth

PSU Endowment: Investment Management Fees (see PSU Tax Documents below) * :

2008:  $10,991,074
2018:  $74,666,195

endow fees

In exchange for these ridiculously over-priced fees (over three times higher the the maximum level of fees stipulated in the Penn State regulations), what does the University receive?

It receives investment management of the endowment funds.
Investment management that has COST the University an additional chunk of money due to the underperformance of those investments – to the tune of $1,400,000,000 (1.4 BILLION) of lost gains.

endow growth 2018

I recommend visiting the BLOG linked below – for those interested in finding out more.
In it, you will find far greater detail regarding the structure, governance, and bewildering management of the Penn State Endowment:

https://barryfenchak4trustee.wordpress.com/?p=729

Among the things you will find out are:

Just what exactly IS the PSU Endowment – and how is it governed?

What do we get for our money?  How have those charged with managing the Endowment performed?


Would you pay someone, handsomely, to piss away over $1,400,000,000 (One point Four Billion)
Spoiler:  You already did.


How are funds from the Endowment used…
and what is the “Big Lie” perpetrated by our Trustees? (along with some of the “smaller ones”)

*  PSU Tax IRS Tax Filings – Form 990.  Including required disclosure of Endowment Investment Management Fees:

The figures regarding the fees paid out of the endowment are not necessarily easy to find, as they come from the IRS Form 990, Schedule D, Part V – which the University is required to file with the IRS each year (see below for an example).

endow 990

The greatest increases in the investment expenses paid out, not surprisingly, coincide with the rise to power of Ira Lubert and Mark Dambly – as Criminals Chairmen of the PSU Board of Trustees:

lubert dambly

Several Trustees, as we know, are members of the Financial Services / Investment Management” industry….

A business known for its “I’ll Scratch Your Back, if You’ll Scratch Mine” practices.

I think we know what Penn State’s dollars are being used for….
and it is NOT to support the Educational and Research Missions of the University.

Wisconsin:   $22,088,550 fees on $4.02 Billion endowment
form_990_2020.pdf (supportuw.org)

UofM:  $12.48 B
NW:  $10.93 B
OSU: 5.28
Pitt $4.17
Minnesota: $3.87
PSU: 3.40*  (27th, 7th among publics).
Wisconsin: $3.15
MSU: 3.07
Purdue:  2.59*
Iowa: 2.53
IU: 2.43*
Illinois: 2.40*
Rutgers: 1.48*
Nebraska: 1.66
Maryland: 1.27
List of colleges and universities in the United States by endowment – Wikipedia

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