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Operating Budget

2006–07 $1,044,397,000
2007–08 $1,109,490,000

The total operating budget for 2006–07 included funding for sponsored research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which totals $74 million. PPPL operates on a federal fiscal year that ends September 30, 2007.

Income (in thousands)

Investment income 40% $413,869
Student fees 22% $225,488
Sponsored research 20% $212,095
Gifts 10% $105,825
Auxiliary activites and service income 8% $87,120

Expenditures (in thousands)

Academic departments 36% $380,795
Physical facilities 22% $231,832
Student aid 14% $147,014
Administration services 11% $110,000
Library and computing services $81,549
PPPL 7% $74,000
Athletics 2% $19,207

The Priorities Committee (PriComm)

The Priorities Committee is a committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community and is advisory to the University president. Every year since 1974, the committee has made recommendations regarding the subsequent year’s operating budget. The provost chairs the committee, which also includes the dean of the faculty, the executive vice president, the treasurer, six faculty members, four undergraduates and two graduate students, and one member from one of the other groups represented on the council. In addition, the vice provost for academic programs and the budget director and associate provost for finance meet with the committee.

The Endowment

Princeton’s endowment is the fourth largest in the country, with a value of more than $14.8 billion as of March 31, 2007 (Harvard University, Yale University, and Stanford University have larger endowments). The endowment is invested in a diversified group of assets, including domestic and international stocks and bonds, independent return managers, private equity, venture capital, real estate, and other assets not traded on organized trading markets.

Princeton’s portfolio has historically experienced solid returns. The total return on Princeton’s endowment—defined as “dividends and interest on portfolio holdings, plus or minus capital appreciation or depreciation”—was equivalent to more than 16 percent per year over the 25-year period ending June 30, 2007.

Giving to Princeton

Gifts from undergraduate and graduate alumni, parents, and friends are vital to sustaining Princeton’s historic mission and keeping the University at the forefront of higher education. The generosity of Princetonians of all ages and from every part of the world supports excellence in teaching, innovation in research, and advancement of the University’s long traditions of service.

In recent years, Princeton has greatly expanded its programs of education and scholarship; enhanced the academic, residential, cultural, and athletic facilities of its landmark campus; and restructured its financial aid program to ensure that every student who is admitted to Princeton can attend, regardless of his or her economic circumstances. The undergraduate classes now on campus are among the first to benefit from sweeping new financial aid policies—including the replacement of all student loans with scholarships and grants—designed to make the University accessible to students of all backgrounds.

Many of the University’s current fundraising priorities center on the need for new construction and programming to support a planned increase in the undergraduate population by some 500 students. In addition, there are significant new initiatives to advance Princeton’s engineering programs, extend the international reach of academic offerings, enhance the creative and performing arts on campus, and support the new institute of neuroscience. New funding is essential to enhance Princeton’s offerings for residential life and to undergird Princeton’s groundbreaking financial aid program; endow professorships and freshman seminars; and support multidisciplinary academic programs in areas such as international studies, integrative genomics, and environmental sciences. Major building projects include dormitory construction and renovation; new and renovated facilities for the humanities, the sciences, and engineering; and the University’s first unified science library.

Annual Giving. Critically important to Princeton’s continuing vitality, Annual Giving provides unrestricted funds that can be used to meet the University’s most important and pressing needs, including financial aid, faculty support, and library and computing resources. This yearly campaign provides approximately 10 percent of Princeton’s overall budget for education and general expenses.

In its 67-year history, Annual Giving has raised more than $700 million for Princeton. The 2006–07 Annual Giving drive produced $49 million in unrestricted funds, a record amount, with 58.5 percent of all undergraduate alumni participating. Annual Giving owes its success to an extraordinary volunteer effort that reaches out to Princetonians and friends from all over the world through class events, personal meetings, phone calls, the mail, and e-mail.

Endowment and Capital Giving. Expanding the University’s leadership in higher education requires significant gifts in support of specific projects, from professorships and scholarships to buildings and renovations. Princeton seeks designated gifts and bequests from undergraduate and graduate alumni, parents, and other friends of the University. Endowment funding is essential to support continuing needs such as professorships, library acquisitions, new and expanded academic initiatives, and undergraduate scholarships. Current capital priorities include major residential life and campus improvement projects. In addition, the University seeks funds for academic programs and research from corporations and foundations.