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Audit: Higher ed foundations have about $4 billion in holdings

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Posted at 10:57 AM, May 16, 2022

Louisiana's public universities have more than $4 billion in assets, with LSU and the Tiger Athletic Foundation heading the pack, an audit found.

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor conducted the audit and reported information about the state's higher education foundations and affiliates, including the number of foundations and their total assets, revenue, and dollars expended.

Auditors identified at least 75 foundations affiliated with public higher education institutions in Louisiana. In 2020, these foundations collectively held approximately $4 billion in assets across all four higher education systems.

In comparison, the fiscal year 2020 enacted budget for higher education institutions was $2.4 billion.

The top 10 foundations held a collective $2.9 billion (72.1%) of the $4 billion in total foundation assets. The two foundations with the highest total of assets were the LSU Foundation and the Tiger Athletic Foundation, which accounted for approximately $1.2 billion, or 29%, of the $4 billion.

Auditors found the foundations collectively took in about $529.1 million in revenue in 2020 and spent about $476.5 million.

"State law defines higher education foundations as private nonprofit corporations which support public higher education institutions. According to this law, because private support enhances the programs, facilities, and research and educational opportunities offered by public institutions, the four higher education management boards and higher education institutions are encouraged to promote the activities of higher education foundations," the audit explains.

Here are some of the numbers:

If you'd to read the whole audit for yourself, click here.