According to the Mills annual financial report and the college’s tax return from last year, the endowment has been losing value for at least the past two years.
The endowment is made up of donations given to the college and is invested. Between May 2000 and May 2001 Mills’ net assets dropped about $1 million, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell during the same period. This dip in revenue led the board of trustees to mandate that $2 million be cut from the college’s budget.
While the temporarily and permanently restricted assets, money that is earmarked for special projects, increased from 2000-2001 by about $5,500,000, completely unrestricted assets, funds that could have been incorporated into the operating budget, fell by $15,000,000.
Approximately 20 percent of operating budget came from endowment revenue in 2000-2001.
Endowment funds and the stock market downturn are not the only places where Mills took a hit in revenue. According to the annual financial report, the revenue derived from tuition after financial aid dropped by $77,000, despite an increase in enrollment.