Gladwell weighs in on university endowment debate

In a sharp-elbowed opinion piece in The New York Times recently, Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of San Diego, took several big-name schools to task for the ways that they handle their endowments. Fleischer's argument moved Malcolm Gladwell, the author and New Yorker writer, to fire off a barrage of tweets excoriating Yale and the other schools featured in Fleischer's article, writes Scott Simon for NPR.

Yale supplied NPR with a statement saying their endowment provides US$1 billion a year – or fully a third – of Yale's budget, which they say is much greater than the revenue they get from student tuition. And they say that more than half of their students receive financial aid. But that argument doesn't persuade Gladwell, who finds fault not with how the money is spent, but the sheer amount the institution has accumulated.

"Do you need US$26 billion to provide that level of service?" he says. "Is our educational system better or worse off for having a small number of schools with a massive amount of money, and a very large number of schools who are hurting?"
Full report on the NPR site