By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The University of Wyoming’s endowment is worth almost $800 million, an extraordinary amount for a college its size, President Ed Seidel said earlier this week.
Seidel, speaking during his “State of the University” speech on Wednesday, said the endowment, or value of the university’s investments based on donated money and financial assets, totaled $794.7 million.
The university saw almost $50 million in private donations last year alone, Seidel said.
In a wide-ranging address that also touched on coronavirus and the budget cuts faced by the university, Seidel said the university reduced its spending by more than $13 million per year by eliminating 75 positions and multiple programs at the school.
The changes will allow the university to better support its students and generate new revenue streams, Seidel said.
Programs not discontinued or reorganized will still see their budgets cut by 3%, he said.
He added the university will save another $18 million over the next 20 years by refinancing its outstanding debt.
“There are lots of things behind the scenes that are helping us save as much funding as we can,” Seidel said.
The long-term spending reductions are in addition to $42.3 million in cuts made when Gov. Mark Gordon ordered state spending cuts in the fact of dramatic downturns in the state’s mineral income.
Turning to coronavirus, Seidel said vaccination rates have steadily increased on campus, with around two-thirds of the student population having self-reported that they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We’ve got some more work to do there, but we’ve done relatively well,” he said.
As of Thursday, there were a number of active COVID cases among the UW population: eight employees, 14 on-campus students and 43 off-campus students, according to the university’s COVID dashboard.
The university was the first educational facility that implemented a mask mandate, with students being required to wear masks while on campus until mid-September.