Penn endowment showed 'largest decrease': report

UPDATED:  During the 2008 fiscal year, of the 20 universities with the largest endowments, "the largest percentage decrease was at the University of Pennsylvania, which lost 6.1 percent of its endowment’s value, or $401.9 million," Inside Higher Education reported in this article. SOURCE: a study by the TIAA-CREF college employees' retirement fund and the National Association of College and University Business Officers -- table here.

A separate study by NACUBO and the Commonfund Institute "found that college endowment returns dropped by 22.5 percent" in the last half of 2008, after falling 2.7 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008. Commonfund and NACUBO collected data on each school, but won't make it public, said Commonfund spokesman William F. Jarvis. 

There's likely worse news ahead, since most of the drop in market value took place after June 30, NACUBO and Comonfund warned in this statement: "While fiscal 2008 was difficult for educational endowments, the negative 2.7 percent return was manageable. It was in the period after the close of the fiscal year on June 30 that very serious erosion of endowment values took place," said

John S. Griswold, executive director of Commonfund Institute.