Michigan Invests With Another Major Donor

August 6, 2018

The University of Michigan invested $102 million into four private equity funds managed by the son of one of the university’s biggest donors, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Donald Graham and his family foundation have given over $60 million to the university. Recently, he paid for half of the football team’s $800,000 trip to Paris.

The university faces increased scrutiny for investing its endowment in the private equity, hedge and capital venture funds and real estate investment firms of its donors. Critics say this instance adds to their concerns.

"This case raises questions about a conflict of interest. Is Michigan acting in the best interest of the university or in the interest of a donor?" Charlie Eaton, assistant professor of sociology at University of California, Merced, told the Detroit Free Press. "My research suggests that this is not just a coincidence that Michigan is invested in its biggest donors."

Rick Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the university, told the Detroit Free Press that "The investment of $102 million with Graham Partners has no association with Donald Graham’s philanthropic giving to the university."

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