The Victoria Times-Colonist is reporting that investment losses at the University of Victoria have prompted the cancellation of bursary and scholarship payments for 40 per cent of the school’s endowment funds.
The decision was made to protect what’s left of the endowment funds’ principal, in order to ensure that UVic students will be supported over the years to come, says Shannon von Kaldenberg, associate vice-president of alumni and development.
This means that 60 per cent of the nearly 1,000 funds will continue to pay out in the next calendar year, until 2010. The remainder will be reassessed that spring.
The Times-Colonist estimates that hundreds of students will be affected. Last year, the university’s foundation paid out $5.4 million, but the annual return on investments used to pay for those awards have dropped about 18 per cent.
One donor, David Pollock, says he is “shocked and upset” to learn of the cancelled payouts. His bursary, set up in honour of his grandmother, has dropped from $64,000 to $55,000. If the university wanted to save capital funds, says Pollock, it shouldn’t have put the money in risky investments.