BOV discusses financial stability

A panel presented TED-talk style speeches on of free speech in the media followed by a discussion. FILE PHOTO / THE FLAT HAT

Faculty salaries and long-term financial stability were key concerns at a meeting of the College of William and Mary Board of Visitors’ Committee on Financial Affairs.

The committee reviewed the College’s investments and altered its six-year financial plan Friday morning in order to address any financial problems.

The BOV resolved that Goldman Sachs Asset Management will take on the role of large cap growth manager, managing $2 to $3 million of the BOV’s endowment fund.

Forty percent of the College’s income is fixed, although even the fixed income depends on state funding and the global economy. The College’s investments have generally increased, however. This year alone they have risen by 5.4 percent.

Joseph Montgomery ’74 from the Optimal Service Group in Wells Fargo Advisors spoke of the importance of diversity for College investments.

“The whole concept is to get an overall broader mix of portfolio to reduce the volatility and meet the investment objectives,” he said.

Faculty and staff salaries were designated as the biggest financial priority, followed by undergraduate financial aid and then enrollment.

“Faculty are absolutely central to this mission. This place would roll away in a cloud of dust without them,” College President Taylor Reveley said.

The average College faculty salary is $87,000. According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, College faculty sit in the 25th percentile compared to their peer group. The state goal is that faculty salaries at institutions of higher education reach the 60th percentile at a $105,000 average.

Increasing philanthropy is one main step the College needs to take to retain faculty, according to Chair of the Committee Todd A. Stottlemyer ’85.

“There is a resource side and stewardship side to our long-term stability,” he said. “We need to make sure we have the resources necessary to attract and maintain outstanding faculty. We need to take our philanthropy to a higher level.”

The BOV updated the College’s six-year plan in order to set aside more money for faculty salaries.

Other topics discussed were the addition of a due diligence clause as Eastern Virginia Medical School considers the potential merge with the College. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science also prepared a separate six-year plan, which was reviewed by the Board of Visitors.