We flourish as a university only if we are good stewards of our fiscal resources, our physical plant and, our most valuable asset, the people who work at Notre Dame.
Finances and Cost of Education
"...the endowment doubled in the last ten years, enjoying a compounded annual growth rate of 9.8%"
Among Notre Dame’s greatest strengths has been a history of sound, far-sighted fiscal stewardship. Such stewardship has continued under the leadership of John Affleck-Graves, Executive Vice President, who also oversees our facilities, building and management, our human resources office, and various divisions that support our central work of education and research. Scott Malpass, our Chief Investment Officer, and his team make possible for Notre Dame so much that would otherwise have been out of reach. In my opinion, our Investment Office is the best in American higher education. With the help of generous benefactors and the hard work of our Development Office, and under the skilled management of our Investment Office, the endowment doubled in the last ten years, enjoying a compounded annual growth rate of 9.8%—this during a period of historic economic and financial uncertainty.
While top rating agencies such as Moody’s paint a bleak economic outlook for much of American higher education, they have consistently given Notre Dame their highest possible credit rating, something only 9 AAU private universities received.
There are too many accomplishments and improvements in the past ten years to mention individually, and I will focus on the progress that has been made in providing financial aid to our students.
"Today, half of all Notre Dame students receive institutional, need-based financial aid."
Under Fr. Malloy’s leadership the University made the pledge that no student who is accepted into Notre Dame is ever turned away for financial reasons. Today, half of all Notre Dame students receive institutional, need-based financial aid. This support goes to students from families with annual household incomes that range from at or near zero to over $200,000.
Total need-based institutional financial assistance has increased 83% since 2006 while costs to students rose 45% during that same period. The average University scholarship has grown from $18,600 in 2006, to $32,000 today, and 7% more undergraduates are receiving aid today than in 2006. We have also elevated the percentage of Pell students (the neediest of the need group) from 8% to 11% in the past decade.
This has all been accomplished during a period of great economic hardship in our country that has seen federal, state, and local support of financial aid programs decline sharply.
The Development Campaign
While I am very proud of the financial management of the university and our investment office, we have been able to expand because of the generosity of so many people. From financial aid, to new facilities, to endowed professorships and much else, these would not be possible if generous benefactors were not committed to our mission.
"We have enjoyed resounding early success of our Boldly Notre Dame Campaign with roughly $2 billion already raised."
We must also recognize the work of our remarkable Office of University Relations, which, under Lou Nanni, Vice President for University Relations, has helped Notre Dame be a national leader in benefaction. We have enjoyed resounding early success of our “Boldly Notre Dame Campaign”, which is currently under way. The success of the first two years of this 7-year effort has exceeded all expectations, with roughly $2 billion already raised. That is nearly what was raised in the entirety of the previous fundraising campaign.
Much credit goes to our development staff led by Lou and his team, but they would agree that the real credit goes to our loyal and generous supporters, who exceeded 100,000 in number for the first time this year.
These benefactors display such generosity for several reasons. Most importantly, they believe in the mission of Notre Dame. They also have confidence in you, the University’s faculty. And, finally, they have confidence in our ability as an institution to administer programs and treat such gifts with the prudent fiscal stewardship they deserve. We must always be diligent to be worthy of the trust and confidence of these benefactors, and remember that we can do what we do because of the generosity of many.
Another great asset of Notre Dame is the beauty and accessibility of our campus. We strive to preserve the historic beauty and serenity of this campus while properly equipping it with superb facilities that are worthy of a modern preeminent research institution.
"In our history, ambitious building campaigns have presaged a period of great intellectual and academic achievement."
In our history ambitious building campaigns have presaged a period of great intellectual and academic achievement. I am hopeful that we are poised on the threshold of just such a period as a result of a ten-year span in which we opened 23 new facilities—which includes 13 devoted to academic or research endeavors, and two new residence halls. As you can see from the cranes hovering over campus right now, seven new buildings are currently underway, totaling almost 1.4 million square feet.
In all that we do, we must never forget that it is the people who make Notre Dame what it is. We have taken a number of steps to support those who work at the University.