How endowments spend tuition payments
If you want a defense of the endowment style of investing, Michael Hennessy provides a really good one. Even he, however, admits that many endowments went way too far during the boom years:
Some (not all) endowments were far too aggressive with their private assets programs, sometimes to the point of planning on incoming charitable contributions (and even seasonal tuition payments) to help fund private asset capital commitments and private capital calls in a “just-in-time” fashion.
Using tuition payments to make capital calls from private-equity funds? I know that people have described Harvard as a large hedge fund with a small educational institution attached, but this is just insane. As a public service, Hennessy should start naming names.