In Donors We Trust

Number 28517
Subject Higher Education
Source Detroit Free Press
State
Year 2018
Publication Date February — October 2018
Summary This entry features the Detroit Free Press' innovative and exhaustive look into irregularities in the management of the University of Michigan’s $11 billion endowment. The years-long investigation detailed how executives at some of the nation's top investment firms donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Michigan while the university in turn invested as much as $4 billion in those companies' funds. More than $400 million of that amount was sent into funds managed by three alumni who advise the university on the investments of its endowment. Critics who reviewed the newspaper’s computational and statistical analysis said Michigan’s approach of investing with some of its top donors, who also help guide the university's endowment, creates a conflict. After the publication of more than a dozen stories throughout 2018, the university reformed its conflict-of-interest rules; its president apologized for a lack in oversight; a member of its board of regents returned more than $20,000 in campaign contributions from an investment fund leader; and voters ousted both board incumbents running for re-election.
Category Philip Meyer Contest entry
Pages
Keywords Detroit Free Press, University of Michigan, higher education, endowment, investment, donors, contributions, money, conflict
Related Links https://www.freep.com/pages/interactives/umichendowment/
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