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USD Foundation performs well in national ranking

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Foundation’s top 25 percent ranking by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)-Commonfund Study of Endowments measures its endowment earnings against those of 835 participating U.S. colleges and universities. The 2013 survey, which compares foundations such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, puts the USD Foundation (USDF) ahead of all other participating South Dakota colleges and universities.

The USD Foundation had a return of 15.9 percent (net of fees) as compared to an average 11.7 percent among all participants. Those institutions’ trailing three-year returns averaged 10.2 percent as compared to the USDF’s 13.8 percent; trailing five-year returns averaged 4.0 percent as compared to USDF’s 7.9 percent; and trailing 10-year returns averaged 7.1 percent as compared to USDF’s 9.1 percent.

Steve Brown, USD Foundation president and chief executive officer, explains the University’s success. “The volunteer leadership of our investment committee is the reason we’ve outpaced our national peers.”

The annual NCSE analyzes return data and a broad range of related information gathered from private and public U.S. colleges and universities and institution-related support foundations. The size and scope of the study makes it the most comprehensive annual report on the investment management and governance practices and policies of institutions of higher education across the U.S.

The 835 institutions participating in this year’s study represented $447.2 billion in endowment assets as of June 30, 2013. The USD Foundation endowment is listed 300th in the national ranking size of the reporting institutions.

The FY 2013 effective spending rate for scholarships and programs by participating institutions was 4.4 percent as compared to 4.2 percent in FY 2012. The Foundation’s effective spending rate mirrored that at 4 percent.

While some institutions don’t emphasize building their endowments, Brown says the Foundation’s policies balance current distributions — about one-quarter of students received scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year — with future needs. “In the short term we strive to meet the funding challenges of the university while adhering to a principle of building intergenerational equity for future generations of students.”

For more information, contact

Steve Brown, president and CEO, USD Foundation: 605 677-6703, or Karen Davies, chief financial officer and vice president: 605 677-6709,

For the complete report, click here:


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News