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Yale’s endowment posted a return of 6.8 percent for the year ending June 30, short of the university’s annual target rate of 8.25 percent. The endowment, which is now valued at $31.2 billion, provides 35 percent of Yale’s operating revenue.

In other financial news, preliminary numbers show that the university ended the fiscal year with a $125 million surplus (most of which is in restricted funds), despite extra costs and lost revenue associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two petition candidates say they have collected enough signatures to be included on the ballot this spring when alumni elect a new member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Victor Ashe ’67, a former mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a former ambassador to Poland appointed by George W. Bush ’68, reported receiving nearly 6,500 signatures. Maggie Thomas ’15MEM, a political strategist focusing on climate policy, reported surpassing the required 4,394 signatures. At press time, an outside consultant was still validating the signatures for the university. Ashe and Thomas would be the first petition candidates on the ballot since 2002; the Yale Alumni Association’s nominating committee customarily announces its candidates in April.

The department of justice filed a lawsuit against Yale in October alleging that Yale “has intentionally subjected applicants to Yale College to discrimination on the grounds of race and national origin,” in particular against Asian and white applicants. The government seeks a prohibition against using race as a factor in future admissions decisions. President Peter Salovey ’86PhD said that the allegation is based on “inaccurate statistics and unfounded conclusions” and that the university’s admissions practices were consistent with Supreme Court precedent. “I want to be clear,” Salovey said. “Yale does not discriminate against applicants of any race or ethnicity. . . . Yale’s admissions policies will not change as a result of the filing of this baseless lawsuit.”

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