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Harvard's Endowment Loses $8 Billion

December 3, 2008 10:04 AM EST | AP

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard officials say the university's largest-in-the-nation endowment lost about 22 percent of its value, or $8 billion, in the four months since the end of the last fiscal year.

The endowment was worth $36.9 billion as of June 30.

Harvard will have to take a "hard look at hiring, staffing levels, and compensation," university President Drew Faust and Executive Vice President Edward Forst wrote in a letter informing deans of the losses.

They say the university should plan for a 30 percent drop in endowment value by the end of next June.

Forst tells The Harvard Crimson student newspaper that the 22 percent estimate may be conservative because some university money is handled by external managers that have yet to report figures.

Filed by Dan Duray  |  Report Corrections