Frequently Asked Questions

If I want to make a gift to the University, whom should I contact?
Please use the link provided below to make a gift online or to contact one of the listed Development Offices.


What is an endowment?
An endowment is the permanent capital of an institution, which provides funding for the mission of the institution for current and future endeavors.


Is student tuition used to fund Endowment investments?
No. Invested funds are derived solely from gifts and contributions to the University. These gifts may be comprised of cash, stock, bonds, real estate, and/or other assets and are managed according to state and federal statutes.


What is the objective of the University of Tennessee’s Endowment?
At a minimum, the objective is to achieve an annualized total return greater than the rate of inflation plus spending, measured over a multi-year time period. This is commonly referred to as "intergenerational equity." Beyond that, the Endowment seeks the highest total return possible that is compatible with the University's risk tolerance and time horizon, and fully consistent with prudent investment practices.


Does the University use an external consultant to advise on Endowment Investments?
The University has contracted with Fund Evaluation Group (FEG) out of Cincinnati, Ohio. FEG has worked with UT’s Endowment since 2004 and handles a variety of tasks related to both the Consolidated Investment Pool and the Trust assets. A link to FEG’s website, as well as its most recent quarterly commentary, is available in the “Quick Links” section of this page.


What is the selection process for managers for the Endowment?
The Investment Office relies heavily on FEG to source and vet potential managers and works closely with their team during the selection process. If a manager’s strategy is deemed to be a fit for the Endowment, that manager undergoes a rigorous review, including strategic and operational due diligence. Given the Endowment’s all-important task of preserving and growing the asset base for future generations, managers must at least meet “institutional” standards before being considered for investment. No special preference is given to Tennessee-based managers or to managers with a tie to the University. Every manager is given equal consideration and must meet the same due diligence benchmarks.


What is the University of Tennessee’s NACUBO ranking?
According to the NACUBO Commonfund Study of Endowments, the University has the 84th largest Endowment among 815 institutions in the US and Canada as of the end of Fiscal Year 2016.


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Contact Us
  • Investment Office
  • 301 Andy Holt Tower
  • The University of Tennessee
  • Knoxville, TN 37996

  • Phone: 865.974.2302
  • Fax: 865.974.2701