Daily Debriefing

by Ana Bowens | 2/26/09 2:36am

Harvard University plans to delay construction of a new science complex in Allston, Mass., in light of its endowment losses, the university announced last week. The science complex was planned to be completed and open for use by 2011. The development was also to include athletic facilities and university-owned stores. Harvard had promised to give the Allston community $25 million in community projects, including parks and an educational center for Harvard students to mentor local children and for remedial adult education, according to The Globe.

Although gifts to colleges and universities reached a record high in 2008, giving will significantly decline for the next two years as the recession worsens, according to a survey by the Council for Aid to Education. Donations by the end of the 2008 fiscal year had increased 6.2 percent from the 2007 fiscal year to a record total of $31.6 billion, according to a Council press release. This January marked a drastic decline in monetary donations, Ann Kaplan, the survey director, told The New York Times. She also said that the majority of donors who had made multiyear pledges asked for more time to complete their gifts. Of the 1,052 institutions included in the survey, the top 20 received a total of $8.41 billion in donations for 2008 -- $745.3 million more than in 2007. Stanford University received the largest amount -- $785 million -- with Harvard University raising the second largest amount at $650.6 million. Columbia University ranked third at $495.1 million, rising two spots from its 2007 ranking, according to The Times.