According to Yale University’s 2010 endowment report, Yale has upwards of $16 billion in its investment portfolio. While that’s not $16 billion the university can spend—Yale lives off the interest of its investments and its donations—it’s still a sizeable chunk of chump change which gives the university a lot of flexibility to determine what it wants to spend, where and how.
With so much money in the bank, it is somewhat outrageous that the university appears to have been receiving federal stimulus spending (in addition to other federal aid). According to the Yale Daily News:
In the wake of 2008, Yale was among universities that received funding from the federal stimulus bill — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — and accrued some $121 million in research awards between February 2009 and January 2010. “We had the ARRA funding that came as part of the stimulus program which ramped everything up tremendously,” said Michael Glasgow, Yale’s executive director of the Office of Grant and Contract Administration. “We’re on the dovetail end of that, and we’re hearing cuts. … It’s potentially scary because we’ve gone from an increase to what could be a decrease in terms of federal funding.”
While it’s certainly unpleasant for any administrator to face spending reductions, taxpayers might find it a bit more unpleasant the Obama administration sent their money to an institution worth billions to enable that institution to keep more of its money in the bank. Nor would the stimulus stimulate at Yale: the jobs it helped fund were jobs which already existed. Feeding out of the federal trough, it is no wonder so many Yale employees and professors are overwhelmingly pro-Obama. At least university President Richard Levin, however, earned his $1 million plus salary.