Dave Marmaros ’01 directed me to a story in today’s Valley News. A few choice quotes:

�We feel that the endowment is there to give you financial strength when you need support in a down economy.”

Spending a higher percentage of the endowment — 6 percent in the current fiscal year and 7.1 percent in the fiscal year to follow — is a way to smooth over �a temporary condition of the economy.�

The above concern Vermont’s Middlebury College and quote Middlebury spokesman Phil Benoit.

The article continues:

Further, Middlebury’s actions raise questions about why Dartmouth, with an endowment of $2.2 billion — four times Middlebury’s — is making budget cuts that include eliminating varsity swimming and diving, consolidating libraries, and laying off 30 employees.

Dartmouth looked at spending endowment money to bolster its finances, but ultimately rejected the idea, said Julie Dolan, Dartmouth’s associate vice president for financial affairs.

�Over the long term we want to preserve the purchasing power of our endowment,� Dolan said last week. To do that during poor economic times, the college needs to spend less from the endowment, she added.

[Middlebury President John] McCardell said Middlebury would also be measured by �our commitment to people, which is a special characteristic of this college, and which I here reaffirm: to students �, to faculty, and to staff.�

In contrast to…