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President Schrum responds to Forbes.com article

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Letter to the editor in the April 20, 2010, U.S. edition of Forbes.com

On Tuesday, Forbes.com posted a story on their website titled, “Private Colleges Financial Health Rankings: Which Endowed Private Schools Are Facing the Most Financial Strain?”  A list of ten institutions, including Southwestern, accompanied the story.

Forbes.com contacted us before publishing the story and asked for comments.  We issued a statement defining Southwestern, including our financial condition.  In no way did we corroborate the story and, in fact, our information is in direct conflict with the story except that Forbes.com does acknowledge Southwestern as among the 200 financially healthiest private institutions in the country.

Good News, Misleading News

So that was the good news, they listed SU among the 200 financially healthiest in the country.  The misleading news was that Southwestern and nine other institutions were singled out by Forbes.com as ‘facing the most financial strain.’   We (and apparently all readers who have posted comments) believe that the methodology stated by Forbes.com was seriously flawed.

I wanted you to know what has transpired including our statement which, along with responses from the other nine institutions, was published by Forbes.com (click “Comments” to see the institutions’ statements in the article).  See here.

In Summary

We are confident of the strong financial health of the University.  We are glad that Forbes.com included Southwestern among the 200 financially healthiest private institutions (of all types and sizes).  We strongly object to their inclusion of Southwestern in their listing of institutions “facing the most financial strain” and question the validity of their stated methodology.

As you know, our Website includes a page titled ‘University Finances’ where we disclose all pertinent financial statements.  Our endowment is one of the largest in the country in dollars per student enrolled.  

As always, I’m available to answer any questions.

Jake

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