Is student tuition or state money included in the Endowment?

No. Invested funds are derived solely from gifts and contributions to the University, which are managed according to state and federal statutes.

What is the return objective of the University of Tennessee’s Endowment?

At a minimum, the objective is to achieve an annualized total return greater than the rate of inflation plus spending, measured over a multi-year time period. This is commonly referred to as “intergenerational equity.” Beyond that, the Endowment seeks the highest total return possible that is compatible with the University’s risk tolerance and time horizon, and fully consistent with prudent investment practices.

Does the University use an external consultant to advise on Endowment investments?

Yes. The University works with Cambridge Associates out of Boston, Massachusetts.

What is the selection process for managers for the Endowment?

The Investment Office relies heavily on its consultant to source and vet potential managers and works closely with their team during the selection process. If a manager’s strategy is deemed to be a fit for the Endowment, that manager undergoes a rigorous review, including strategic and operational due diligence.

Given the Endowment’s all-important task of preserving and growing the asset base for future generations, managers must at least meet “institutional” standards before being considered for investment. No special preference is given to Tennessee-based managers or to managers with a tie to the University. Every manager is given equal consideration and must meet the same due diligence benchmarks.

If I want to make a gift to the University, whom should I contact?

Please use the link provided below to make a gift online or to contact one of the listed Development Offices.