President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri has issued this statement to the York community:
Final fiscal year-end investment performance results are now available for the overall York University endowment, held both at the University and in the York University Foundation.
Investment performance on the fund overall was -18 per cent for the year ending April 30. While this is a substantial decline in performance compared to previous years, this rate of return compares favourably to many other institutions in North America.
At this time of year, we would normally be expecting distributions from the endowment in the range of about $10 million per year. Despite the losses we have experienced, our history of prudent fiscal management has left us in a stronger position than many universities. Measures have been taken to ensure that we continue to provide funding for critical University priorities while at the same time protecting endowment capital for the long term.
Over the years we have conservatively distributed income from the endowment, leaving some excess income within the fund to offset occasional losses. As a result, we are able to continue to distribute in the current year, although at a reduced rate. In addition, the University has planned to mitigate much of the remaining shortfall in funding by sourcing funds from other places, including operating funds.
With these measures in hand, we are cautiously optimistic that the University will be able to weather the current economic storms with our scholarships substantially intact. However, please be assured that both the University and the York University Foundation will be watching these funds very closely to ensure that they will continue to fulfil the worthy goals for which they were established.
I have established a Steering Committee to ensure that the impacts of this change are communicated to faculty and staff, students and our donors. You have my personal commitment that we will report back to the York community as and when circumstances change – we hope, for the better.