Iowa State University nameplate

Inside Iowa State
Gold bar
November 9, 2001

First endowment review team has begun its work

by Anne Krapfl
The first members have been appointed to a new ISU committee that will review how endowment funds from the ISU Foundation are spent, once they're transferred from the foundation to the university, to make certain that donors' requests are followed.

President Gregory Geoffroy announced this summer he would create the committee and has appointed David Hopper, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, and past president of the Faculty Senate, to chair the committee. Joining Hopper on the committee are Jill Bysteydzienski, women's studies; James Espenson, chemistry; Johnny Pickett, controller; and Sherryl Rippke, internal audit.

As the process has been set up, the ISU Foundation will provide a list of all endowments to the committee each year. Committee members will review a random selection of endowment accounts to confirm that:
  • Expenditures meet the donor's intent, as specified in a "Memorandum of Agreement" with the ISU Foundation.
  • University processes and approval policies support the spending guidelines for endowment earnings.
  • Interest income from the endowments is being spent regularly, as failure to use endowment earnings also may conflict with donor intent.
Hopper said the committee's first assignment is to educate itself about the process of how interest income is transferred from the foundation to the university and spent. Committee members hope to have a question-and-answer session with foundation president Tom Mitchell yet this month. The committee expects to receive the list of all endowed accounts from the foundation this week and then will decide how many and which accounts to review.

Hopper said Geoffroy has asked the committee to focus on student scholarship accounts this year.

The committee's report, including findings and recommendations for changes, is due each year by May 1 to Geoffroy. Hopper said it is a public report.

The ISU Foundation's "payout policy" is that growth income equal to 5 percent of the market value of an endowment is available to spend each year. The spending allocation from each endowment is transferred from a foundation account to a matching university account. Money actually is spent from university accounts, not foundation accounts.

... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
Copyright © 1995-2001, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.