20080326

ASU Foundation report, in closer detail

The report released on Tuesday, The Arizona State University Foundation: Advancing the New American University. A report on the financial activities of the ASU Foundation, issued by The Coalition for Justice at Great Western Erectors shows evidence that the ASU Foundation has misappropriated funds that are intended to benefit the university.

Here are the highlights from the report:
  • The ASU Foundation is the fund raising arm of Arizona State University and is charged with advancing ASU as a New American University. Unfortunately, according to this report the organization has lost sight of this mission. Since 2002, ASU students have faced tuition and fee increases while the ASU Foundation's endowment has increased by 91% in the last five years. For more information on tuition increases in Arizona please read one of my previous posts. This is a common theme for the rest of the nation.
  • The Sustainable Endowments Institute recently gave the ASU Foundation failing grades in the categories of Endowment Transparency and Shareholder Management.
  • According to the ASU Foundation's IRS Form 990, one of the major sources or revenue is 'Other Income'. For 2005 - 2006, this 'Other Income' amounted to almost $20 million.
  • Again the IRS Form 990 shows that in 2005 - 2006 $74 million was spent in functional expenses. Keep in mind that the ASU Foundation's purpose is to raise funds to support ASU. During this 2005 - 2006 time period only 43.8% went to the University in the form of grants and allocations.
  • The compensation for the ASU Foundation's top eight officers alone totaled almost $1.7 million. ASU Foundation Officer compensation is higher than peer foundations. The University of Florida, a public institution with a student population similar to ASU, spent only $630 thousand.
  • The third highest paid non-officer employee of the ASU Foundation in 2005 - 2006 was Sybil Francis, wife of ASU President Michael Crow. She received $160,000 as a 'senior advisor' to the ASU Foundation. That same year, Arizona State University compensated President Crow $520,000. For more information on Arizona State University salary for 2006 - 2007 please read this post.
  • The ASU Foundation spent $20.8 million on 'Other Expenses'. Compared again to the University of Florida, which spent only $5 million, it would appear that life at the ASU Foundation is, fun and games.
  • Actually, for a better idea of the fun and games at the ASU Foundation check out these figures. In 2005 - 2006 the ASU Foundation spent $978,261 on 'Nonprofessional Services'. Compared again to the University of Florida, which spent an even more incredible amount of $0. Yes, the University of Florida spent nothing on nonprofessional services during the same time period.
  • As mentioned earlier, the ASU Foundation spent 43.8% of it's total expenses on the university itself. Compared to the University of Florida, which spent 63.6%, and the University of Arizona, which spent 81.3% on their respective universities the ASU Foundation isn't spending nearly enough money on ASU.
  • Average overhead spending at the ASU Foundation increased 82% in just three years under President Michael Crow. Among the most notable expenses was a 206% increase in of average officer compensation. This coincides with a 6% in grants and allocations to ASU as a % of Total Functional Expenses. These figures are comparing two time periods. The percent change is comparing 2001 - 2003 and 2003 - 2005.
  • Resident in-state tuition and mandatory fees have increased by 100% since 2000 - 2001. Funds spent on ASU Foundation officer compensation have increased 440% since 2000 - 2001.
This information was taken from The Coalition for Justice at Great Western Erectors' report titled:
The Arizona State University Foundation
Advancing the New American University?
A report on the financial activities of the ASU Foundation