Washington, D.C—The Carnegie Institution for Science posted an 11% return on its investments for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010. As of today, the institution’s endowment stands at approximately $700 million, or 15% above the low experienced in March of 2009.

Carnegie had the benefit of financial strength at the start of the period of financial turmoil in 2008-2009. The endowment had increased almost 50% in the four-year period ending June 30, 2008. The endowment declined during the year ending June 30, 2009, by 27%. To combat the turndown, the institution reduced endowment spending in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 by about four percent in nominal terms below 2008-2009 levels.

“I am pleased that we were able to reduce spending from our endowment without having to resort to the staff and salary reductions experienced by many other institutions,” commented Carnegie president Richard A. Meserve. “As we look to the future, we will continue the cautious and prudent path that has served us well to date. Our investment and spending policies are based on providing ongoing stable financial support for the institution’s current activities on the one hand and preserving financial assets to support the mission of the organization in the long term on the other.”

During the last two years, Carnegie has also benefited from the ability of its scientists to attract new grants from federal and private sources totaling more than $96 million, an increase of 24% above the new awards obtained in the prior two-year period.

“It’s a tribute to the board’s finance and budget committees, to the institution’s directors and scientists, and to those who support the institution financially that we have been able to weather this storm well,” remarked chairman of the Carnegie board Michael Gellert. “Our core science has not just been sustained, our researchers have been remarkably productive during this turbulent period.”

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