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Best of the Record – 18 March 2009

Schapiro predicts further losses

According to the College’s leading financial experts, President Schapiro and Chief Investment Officer Collette Chilton, the endowment has decreased in value since Chilton last estimated it at $1.4 billion on December 31, 2008. By Schapiro’s estimate, the endowment will stand at around $1.1 billion when the fiscal year closes on July 1, with $92 million availed for the current academic year’s spending. However, “with the volatility of markets and the difficulty in pricing illiquid assets … the specific number is hard to nail down,” Schapiro said.

Nine faculty positions filled for 2009-2010

“This year presented both challenge and opportunity for hiring. On the one hand, the market was weaker, [due to] fewer colleges and universities seeking to hire faculty, so we interviewed and pursued candidates that in other years we might not have had a chance of hiring,” said Stephan Sheppard, chair of economics. “On the other hand we knew that with the present financial constraints on the College we would need to identify some really good candidates to present to CAP for appointment to the faculty.” […] “There were many colleges and universities that canceled all of their searches this year,” Sheppard said. “I think it was really smart of Williams to allow some of its searches to go forward. It is precisely at times like this that the College can make some really strong additions to the faculty.”

Tales from the Creeper: The uncommon room

That’s right; I was that weird girl – and I sincerely apologize if I made you feel uncomfortable in your living space, because I certainly made myself feel uncomfortable in your living space, and it wasn’t a picnic. Unless you’re talking dirt, flies and sticky beverages. Metaphorically, of course.

Performers transcend Mamet script

The reality of theater reviews at Williams is a strange thing, since it would seem that one of the main purposes of a review is to tell someone whether (or not) to go see a certain production. Of course, by the time you read this review, the minimal set of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which played to audiences at the Adams Memorial Theatre at the ’62 Center last Thursday through Saturday, will have been stored away in the theater vaults, and the actors will be in rehearsals for other shows or maybe just navigating the theatrical landscape.

So, what’s the purpose of this review? I can’t tell you to go see Glengarry Glen Ross, since it’s not playing anymore (and what a shame that is!), nor do I particularly make you want to feel bad for not going (though you certainly should). My goal for this review is simple: go to the theater.

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#1 Comment By David On March 20, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

Oh my goodness! Things are even worse then I expected. Kudos to Jared Quinton for some solid reporting.

1) The endowment is in huge trouble. I think that an update of my previous analysis would have shown a number like $1.1 billion. And, per usual, the College is ignoring the debt in this calculation. Our net financial wealth is $1.1 billion minus $260 million in debt. So, our actual net wealth is around $850 million. Brutal.

2) And we continue to spend like drunken sailers! Someon on the Trustees needs to step up and slap the College across the face. If you only have $850 million in wealth and you spend $80 million of it every year, then you run out of money very fast.

Williams needs to start cutting its budget now. Immediately. At their April meeting, the Trustees should reject the budget that the College has proposed and demand that they find, at least, another $10 million in cuts.

#2 Comment By frank uible On March 20, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

Cuts and more cuts until everyone’s ox has been gored and then some more cuts.