Harvard University announced that its endowment fund suffered a $1.9 billion loss for the 2016 fiscal year, according to a reportfrom Harvard Management Company, which oversees the university's financial assets.This represents the largest decline since the financial crisis in 2008.
Endowment funds allow colleges and universities to operate financial aid, and over one-third of Harvard’s operating income was obtained through the endowment.
Harvard Management Companydescribed the results as “disappointing” in the report.
“This has been a challenging year for endowments and clearly these are disappointing results,” wrote Paul Finnegan, chair of the Harvard Management Co. board, in the report.
The company has seen numerous changes in leadership in recent years. Harvard is currently looking for a new Chief Executive Officer after Stephen Blythe, the former CEO, resigned in July. This became the third change in CEOs in the past 11 years, according to the Boston Globe.
Harvard’s endowment continues to remain the largest in the nation, totaling $35.7 billion. Yale University has not yet reported results.