The British origins of the US endowment model

David Chambers, Elroy Dimson 20 October 2014

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In recent years much attention has been given to the so-called ‘Yale model’, an approach to investing practised by the Yale University Investments Office in managing its $24 billion endowment. The core of this model is an emphasis on diversification and on active management of equity-orientated, illiquid assets (Yale 2014). Yale has generated returns of 13.9% per annum over the last 20 years – well in excess of the 9.2% average return on US college and university endowments. Other leading US university endowments have followed this model (Lerner et al. 2008).

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Topics:  Financial markets

Tags:  investment, endowments, university endowments, college endowments, Universities, Keynes, asset management, diversification, Great Depression, Great Recession, buy-and-hold, equity investing, portfolio management, Yale, Cambridge

Assessing Italian research quality: A comparison between bibliometric evaluation and informed peer review

Graziella Bertocchi, Alfonso Gambardella, Tullio Jappelli, Carmela A. Nappi, Franco Peracchi 28 July 2014

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Measuring research quality is a topic of growing interest to universities and research institutions. It has become a central issue in relation to the efficient allocation of public resources, which – in many countries and especially in Europe – represent the main component of university funding. Many countries – Australia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavian countries, and the UK – have introduced national assessment exercises to gauge the quality of university research.

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  Universities, research, citations, science, academia, research quality, peer review, research assessments, bibliometrics

US university science: The shopping mall model

Paula Stephan 20 March 2014

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Universities have relied heavily on federal funds for research for many years. Yet, since 2005, federal funds have been flat in real terms, with the exception of funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). More importantly, the hope for a substantial increase in federal funds is dim.

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Topics:  Education Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, Universities, external funding

Do we need highly cited departmental chairs?

Amanda Goodall, John McDowell, Larry Singell 31 January 2014

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The advancement of scientific knowledge is the primary responsibility of approximately 300,000 academic departments housed in more than 20,000 universities worldwide, yet little is known about the factors that determine the productivity of those departments. chairs – or ‘Heads of Department’ – play a central role in the academic departments that make up universities. They manage daily operations, hire faculty and professional staff, and work closely with senior university administrators, most of whom were themselves once departmental heads.

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  Universities, Management, higher education, academia

Herding cats? Management and university performance

John McCormack, Carol Propper, Sarah Smith 07 November 2013

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The common view holds that managing academics is like herding cats – difficult and ultimately pointless. But this view of management contrasts with growing evidence that good management practices are like a good technology – they increase productivity (Bloom and Van Reenen 2010). Further, this finding holds for organisations in the public sector as well as in the private sector, and in many different countries across the world (Bloom et al. 2012).

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Topics:  Education Labour markets

Tags:  Universities, Management, higher education, academia, human resources

It’s not what you know, but who you know: The role of connections in academic promotions

Manuel F. Bagues, Natalia Zinovyeva 16 September 2012

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European countries are increasingly concerned with the efficiency of their universities. An issue that has been discussed repeatedly is the lack of meritocracy in recruiting and hiring processes (Perotti 2002, Combes et al. 2008, Durante et al. 2011). In an attempt to improve the system, several European countries have reformed the organisation of universities during the last decade (Aghion et al. 2010). In this respect, Spain offers an insightful case.

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  Universities, Spain, promotions

The gender of American academic leaders matters

Ronald G. Ehrenberg 25 January 2010

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Over the last 30 years, the percentage of women receiving PhDs from American universities has increased from around 25% to 45%.

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  Universities, gender, leaders

Why it matters who leads research universities

Amanda Goodall 02 January 2010

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It is well known that the top European research universities underperform compared to their American counterparts. The evidence is summarised with policy recommendations by van der Ploeg and Veugelers (2008a,b). The authors raise the need for improved governance, in particular that governments should give universities greater autonomy to manage their own affairs. Leadership is an important part of governance, and again Europe lags.

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  Universities, research, leadership

Is Europe lagging behind the US in university technology licensing?

Annamaria Conti , Patrick Gaulé 30 July 2009

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In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, it is widely believed that the quality of university-industry linkages is important for growth. On several occasions, the European Commission has argued that while European research institutions are good at producing academic research outputs, they are not successful in transferring these outputs to the economy – the so called ‘European Paradox’ (European Commission 2007). Reforms in the organisation of technology transfer are thus needed to improve knowledge transfer from public research institutions to firms.

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Topics:  Education Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  Universities, research, technology

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