Oil-rich University of Texas eyes top endowment spot

Harvard University’s endowment, currently valued at a jaw-dropping US$50.9 billion, has been the largest among academic institutions for more than 35 years. But the University of Texas is nipping at its heels, writes David Gura for NPR.

The University of Texas hopes to regain the top spot it relinquished to Harvard in 1986. According to new data, it now has a US$42.3 billion endowment, thanks in part to royalties it makes from oil and natural gas. The university owns more than two million acres of land in West Texas. “It’s about three times the size of Rhode Island,” says Ray Perryman, an economic consultant based in Waco, Texas. “It’s a very big expanse of land.”

“Production has gone up significantly in recent years, and as a result, the lands are now able to literally generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in endowment for the university systems,” Perryman says. The University of Texas and Texas A&M split the proceeds.
Full report on the NPR site