News

Mass. State Rep. Calls on University VP to Increase Transparency for Allston Multimodal Project

News

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow Made $1.1 Million in 2020, Financial Disclosures Show

News

Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp To Step Down

News

81 Republican Lawmakers File Amicus Brief Supporting SFFA in Harvard Affirmative Action Lawsuit

News

Duke Senior’s Commencement Speech Appears to Plagiarize 2014 Address by Harvard Student

MONETARY MIRAGE

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Eight million dollars is a lot of money, even when one is concerned with figures running up into hundreds of millions, and the huge loss which is shown on the books in the annual Treasurer's Report to the Overseers may cause uninformed persons undue alarm. However, the simple facts, when divorced from their monetary terminology, reveal that Harvard, despite this book loss, is actually as financially solid as it has been in the past. In brief, some millions of dollars were added to the book valuation of the University shortly after the late-lamented boom. Its investments were apparently worth more, so Harvard decided to value them at an increased figure on its books. Now changing business conditions, and perhaps the accounting policies of a new Treasurer, have showed it advisable to return to the more conservative valuations of the pre-1930 period. In all this accounting legerdemain, there has been no change in real value which would not have taken place regardless of the mark-up in book value.

Those students whose education leans heavily on aid from the University in the form of scholarships and part-time jobs, members of the teaching staff with a wary eye on their salaries, and all the other horde of workers and officers for whom Harvard provides livelihood, need not fear. If Harvard is in financial difficulties at present, and there is no indication in the Report that it is, one thing remains certain--the marking up or down of book value will have no immediate consequences on its ability to provide for its dependents. The book revaluation step is but necessary and strengthening retrenchment, a step taken to make sure that when the University opens its purse, it can rely on the amount of money therein.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags