Renewed Scrutiny of Michigan Investment Practices

September 14, 2018

Questions are again being raised about the University of Michigan's investment practices and potential conflicts of interests between the institution and its officers and donors.

An investigative report published by the Detroit Free Press Thursday focused renewed attention on the university related to allegations by the newspaper that wealthy alumni with "sway over the university's $11-billion endowment have given thousands in campaign donations to members of the university's governing board."

The recent report follows a series of investigative articles published earlier this year by the Free Press which alleged that a large portion of the university's endowment was invested in private equity, hedge and venture capital funds, and real estate investment firms run by top university donors and alumni investment advisers.

University administrators strongly denied the new allegations and issued a long, written rebuttal.

"We categorically reject the innuendo from the Free Press that there has been any wrongdoing on the part of the university or members of our Board of Regents in how we interact with our donors or manage the university's investments," Rick Fitzgerald, the university's spokesperson, said in an emailed comment. "We are proud of the successful performance of our endowment and the ethical manner in which we manage our investments."

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