Higher education is facing a changing economic climate. Many financial analysts predict that long-term endowment returns—a key source of revenue for the college—will be lower in the decade ahead. In addition, there is growing pressure to contain the rising costs of higher education for students and their families. This is especially important to Smith given our commitment to education access.
Smith is in a stable and strong financial position. The college has consistently maintained a balanced budget, has little deferred maintenance in our campus facilities, and has an excellent credit rating. Nonetheless, we need to continue to be proactive in our financial planning to ensure we remain financially strong in the future. By responding quickly to the changing financial environment, we will ensure that Smith is positioned to offer women of promise the same quality of education in the future as it does today.
Over the course of the 2017–18 year, the college community—trustees, students, staff and faculty—will work together to address this challenge. Our planning will be guided by the following principles:
- Prioritize the academic mission
- Ensure access to a Smith education
- Plan for intergenerational equity, so that future generations of Smith students will experience an education equal to what we offer today
- Commit to continuous improvement by investing in our strategic plan
This site will capture our ongoing work to modernize our administrative processes, enhance revenue and moderate the growth rate of our expenses. Events, updates, related readings and more will be shared on this site.
- Responding to Your Questions About Financial Sustainability, February 5, 2018
- Update on Our Financial Sustainability Initiative, January 22, 2018
- Planning for Smith’s Financially Sustainable Future, March 31, 2017
- McKinsey & Company: Why Investors May Need to Lower Their Sights
- Callan: Capital Market Projections
- Moody’s: Moody’s Endowment Management Shifts as Long-Term Returns Decline (PDF)
Presentations on financial sustainability will be made at the following meetings:
- Financial sustainability retreat, August 30, 2017
- Faculty Meeting, September 27, 2017
- All-Staff Meeting, October 2, 2017
- Student Government Association, date TBD
Additional meetings will be added as they are scheduled.