U of L Foundation increases spending rate for university budgets Wednesday, Feb 2 2022 

By Joe Wilson — 

On Jan. 27, the University of Louisville Foundation (ULF) announced that it will increase its funding to U of L’s academic units at the start of the next fiscal year.

Beginning July 1, the spending rate, approved by the ULF Board of Directors, will rise from three percent to four percent, which equates to an additional $10 million to next year’s budget. The spending rate, coming from the strongest-ever endowment pool, will increase overall funding at U of L by 55 percent compared to the current year.

ULF, an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, manages monetary donations made to U of L. Most of these donations are donor-restricted, meaning that there are specific instructions as to how the money can be spent. These funds typically support student scholarships, faculty salaries, research activities and operational expenses. However, a small portion of funds are unrestricted, meaning that money can be spent at the discretion of the president’s office, college dean or department chair.

The announcement marks ULF’s strongest financial position in the organization’s history, which dates back to 1970. In addition to the increase in the spending rate, ULF has also reduced its administrative fee by 25 percent, meaning that less money is going towards the operating and managing costs of the foundation.

“The University of Louisville Foundation is stronger than ever,” said ULF Chair W. Earl Reed III in response to the announcement. “The increased investment in U of L will drive education, research and programming across campus and boost the university’s upward trajectory. We will continue working to maximize the performance of our endowment pools and providing meaningful and reliable support to the University.”

Comparable foundations with an endowment market average of $1 billion will typically have a spending rate that ranges between four and five percent. ULF’s increased spending rate will therefore make it more competitive with other peer university foundations in the nation.

According to ULF Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Keith Sherman, “The message here really is that there’s never been a better time to invest on campus. We have gone through a challenging time, but we are healthy and incredibly well-positioned today, tomorrow and into the future.”

The ULF Board typically approves changes to spending policy in their April board meeting. The early announcement will provide extra time for U of L departments and units to adjust their budgets for the 2023 fiscal year.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L receives a record breaking $170 million for research funding Tuesday, Nov 17 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville received 170 million dollars in research funding during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. This is a record-breaking amount of research funding for the university and an increase of about 18 million dollars from the previous fiscal year.

The money that the university received is used to train students, research vaccines and develop new manufacturing technology.

“It’s super important for a lot of different reasons. It enables really important work to happen and makes discoveries that help people,” said Kevin Gardner, U of L’s executive vice president for research and innovation.

Gardner stressed the real-world impact of the research done at U of L. For example, U of L  research on how environmental pollution affects cardiac health can have life-saving effects on the community. Gardner also stressed how vital it is to the university to prioritize research for the sake of the education of the students.

“Students are learning about current knowledge that was created this year and last year. As opposed to 30 years ago,” Gardner said. “When you are a freshman maybe you should learn about that 30-year-old knowledge, but when you are a more advanced student you should be in advanced classes learning about knowledge that was generated this year and last year.

Gardner went on to explain that U of L’s record as a research institution makes it a great place to invest. He said that grant applications are not easy to write, so the fact that U of L has so many successfully funded research projects should be proof of the researcher’s skills at what they do.

“It’s a great place to invest because it’s a place where we have top-notch researchers who are nationally competitive,” Gardner said.

Gardner said that even though COVID-19 is a big research focus this year, this money largely does not include money that was received for work on COVID-19 research. This is because the fiscal year ended in June, so while many grants had been applied for not many rewards had been received. The money for that research will be included in next year’s financial data.

File Photo//The Louisville Cardinal

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