The Foundation is committed to careful stewardship of private gifts in support of the University of Oregon. The Investment Committee and UO Foundation staff are in frequent communication to discuss governance, investment policies and procedures, portfolio diversification and manager evaluation.

The UO Foundation manages $873 million of investable assets, including gifts made to endowed funds, expendable funds and deferred gifts. 

  • Gifts to expendable funds are immediately available for spending at the request of the UO; therefore, the investment approach emphasizes preservation of capital— highest possible return with low risk.
  • Deferred gifts are managed individually, rather than pooled, because each is unique in terms of payout rate and investment horizon. This strategy allows a variety of asset allocation options to be utilized to best satisfy donor needs.

Endowed funds 

Gifts to endowed funds are placed in the Willamette Investment Pool (WIP), a well diversified all-weather portfolio that is a combination of long-term core holdings and ever-changing, opportunistic (2-5 year) holdings. Since the goal is to maximize returns with a prudent level of risk, the WIP has a strong equity-like bias in asset allocation. As of June 30, 2016, the endowment reached a high market value of $753 million.

The UO Foundation looks to place investments with highly successful, long-tenured, independently owned management firms; history has proven the more aligned the interests of investors and managers, the better the results. Ongoing manager due diligence is required to make sure nothing goes wrong. The Foundation is in routine communication with its managers, asking about all facets of their business: people, processes, and performance.

As of June 30, 2016, the Willamette Investment Pool included 1,400+ donor-directed funds valued at ~$753 million

As of June 30, 2016

Endowment Investment Performance

The endowment's performance is designed to be consistent, stable, and less dependent on any one type of investment or any one particular economic environment. Greater focus is placed on generating consistent returns measured over longer periods of time. The ultimate objective is to first protect, then perform, and finally, as a result, provide to the university.

As of June 30, 2016.

Equity/Fixed Income Benchmark: 60% MSCI All Country World Equity Index, 40% Barclay's Aggregate
Policy Benchmark (Inception 2012): 20% MSCI All Country World Equity Index, 20% DJCS Long/Short Equity Hedge, 5% 91-Day T-Bill, 5% BofA Merrill Lynch 1-3 Year US Corporate Index, 15% HFR Fund of Funds, 7.5% NCREIF Townsend Blended, 7.5% Mercer Illiquid Natural Resources, 20% Burgiss Global PE Index

Spending Policy

The amount of university support provided by endowed funds each year is determined according to the Board approved spending policy, currently ~4%. The Foundation spending policy is at the heart of our prudent management of private gifts. It strikes a balance between the conflicting goals of providing substantial support for current operations and preserving long-term purchasing power.


Endowment distribution FY 2015-16, $19.4 million

The Foundation Investment Guide provides more detailed information. If you have further questions, please contact Jay Namyet, Chief Investment Officer.
Manager inquiries, please click here.