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TCU FY2012: The Finances of Texas Christian University

For fiscal year 2011-2012, TCU lost $4.1 million (revenue less expenses), while also seeing its net assets drop about $90 million from the previous year. A dramatic rise in spending combined with investment revenue losses appear to be the primary culprit.


Every year, TCU (as a registered 501 (c)(3)) reports its financials, along with compensation information, to the IRS. TCU does not make this information publicly available on its website, but does issues copies of this information upon request from the media.

The trick is: They don't just simply send an email out, you have to know to ask. And, with the amount of money TCU lost in FY2012, you can understand why they aren't eager to get the information out. In FY2011, TCU saw a $145 million surplus, the signs of a stable school riding high on growing endowment income and ever increasing tuition and fees.

In FY2012, TCU saw a stunning turnaround, and posted a fiscal year-end loss of $4.1 million. Even worse, the TCU endowment, which had $190 million+ in investment income in FY2011, reported a loss of $90 million in FY2012.

Specifically, TCU saw revenues of $441 million in FY2012, with total gross receipts totalling $859 million. However, that revenue figure is down almost $100 million from FY2011, primarily due to drops in contributions/grant money (down $84 million) and investment income (down $47 million, total of $-3.1 million). The only "bright spot"? Tuition and fee revenue was up almost $30 million, thanks to yet another tuition increase of 8% prior to the start of the year.

TCU awarded well over $1 million in compensation and bonuses to its CIO James Hille for "investment services and performance bonuses," despite the funds massive losses in FY2012, both in value and in cash value. -TCU Form 990.

Doing as the federal government does, expenditures were up year-over-year from $400 million in FY2011 to $445 million in FY2012, spurred primarily by increases to salaries/compensation (up $27 million). The majority of employees listed in the 990 filing saw their compensation rise from FY2011 to FY2012 (calendar year 2010 to 2011), lead by Gary Patterson and chancellor Victor Boschini.

At the end of FY2012, TCU had over 250 employees making at least $100,000, the highest number in the schools history (up from 237 in FY2011).

Random information and details from the TCU 990 filing follow below, with the entire filing available at the bottom of the post.

- TCU's endowment balance/value at the end of FY2012 was $1.469 billion, down $90 million Y2Y.

- TCU received $11 million in government grants during FY2012.

- TCU received $45 million in cash donations and $11 million in non-cash donations in FY2012. For student related revenue, TCU received $295 million in tuition money, $25 million for room/board, $16 million from dining services, $11 million from athletics and campus recreation, and $1.3 million from the University Bookstore. TCU realized $13 million in gross investment incomes, $22 million in royalties, and $404,000 in gross fund raising proceeds.

- TCU issued $91 million in grants, $70 million in financial aid to 5,476 students. Just over $10 million in graduate student financial aid was issued to 868 individuals.

- TCU paid $5 million in compensation to officers, directors, and trustees, while paying $138 million in salaries/wages to their remaining full or part-time employees. TCU employees accrued/contributed $31 million to their 401k or 403b accounts, including TCU's contribution. TCU paid $9.1 million in payroll taxes during FY2012 (calendar year 2011).

- TCU paid $665,000 in legal fees, $564,000 in accounting fees, $138,000 in fundraising consulting, and $1.6 million in advertising/promotion. TCU spent $15 million on office expenses during FY2012, and $14.5 million on travel expenses.

- At the beginning of the fiscal year, TCU had $35 million in cash available... They ended the year with $11 million in cash, with $38 million in liquid savings and/or cash investments.

- At the end of FY2012, TCU has owed/outstanding grants/gifts valued at $65 million.

- TCU reported $1 billion in land, buildings and equipment, valued at $700 million after depreciation.

- At the end of FY2012, TCU has bond liabilities totaling almost $400 million.

- TCU's endowment was valued at $1.559 billion at the start of FY2012, it ended at $1.469 billion. At the beginning of FY2012, TCU's endowment fund totalled $1.191 billion, and saw $11 million in contributions during the year (down $8 million Y2Y). Net investment losses totalled $35 million, as compared to $191 million in gains the year before, leading to a year end fund balance of $1.110 billion.

- At the end of FY2012, the TCU endowment owned $1.5 million in interest rate cap & derivatives, $235 million in hedge funds, $277 million in limited partnerships, and $72 million in outside trust funds. TCU also claims mineral interests, values at $134 million.

- As part of its investment package, TCU held $139 million in short term investments, $17 million in US Government Securities, $116 million in US Corporate Stocks, $63 million in Corporate Bonds, and $174 million in international securities. TCU has $78 million in post retirement benefit liabilities.

- For FY2012, the endowment is 55% board designated, 28% permanent, and 15% restricted.

- TCU spent $25 million on land upkeep in FY2012, and wrote off $24 million of it.

- TCU paid its CIO $1 million for his work with the universities "investment income."

- TCU reports to own works of art, historical treasures, and other similar assets held for public display or research totaling $1.7 million in value. These include the Jim Wright collection, the Andy Warhol collection, and the Oscar Monnic Meteorite collection, among others.

- TCU spent $223,000 on renewable energy research in Europe during FY2012.

- For the purposes of study abroad, recruiting, athletics competition, research, service learning, and/or conferences, TCU spent $77 million in Central America/Caribbean, $15 million in Europe, $600,000 in North America, $227, 251 in East Asia, $1,083 in the Middle East/North Africa, $1,014 in Russia, $87,724 in South America, $12, 821 in South Asia, and $61,791 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

- TCU paid Bentz-Whaley-Flessner, Inc. $45,659 for fundraising consulting.

- The Horned Frog Classic generates $220,225 in gross receipts, and $84,260 in net income. At the event, TCU spent $29, 406 on food/beverages.

- TCU retired $9 million in bond debt in FY2012.

- TCU issued a special merit-scholarship, totaling $29,556, to an unnamed "interested party," typically a board members child, trustees child, or other related family member who received the benefit outside the normal acceptable bounds of TCU's aid structure.

- TCU spent $540,546 on charter air travel with American-Airlines, $201,536 on private charter air travel, $436,630 with AT&T on phone services, and $296,238 on waste removal and recycling.

- Somebody donated 78 publicly traded securities to TCU in FY2012, with a fair market value of over $4 million. The securities were sold upon receipt by a third-party broker, per TCU's policy. Conversely, there was also a donation of archaeological artifacts, totaling $320,000 in value.

- Other donations: A $15,000 violin, and eight horses ($305,000).

- TCU did not directly pay for lobbying services in FY2012, but did pay $95,000 in dues to several associations that do lobby on behalf of their member institutions.

- Want to contact Jim Christian? Try his new forwarding address, a $1 million+ Athens, Ohio home: 107 University Estates Boulevard Athens, OH 45701

- Sodexo was paid $13.2 million by TCU as a contractor to provide food/bev. services.

- Once again, TCU used Price-Waterhouse-Coopers as their financial auditors.

To view Part 1 of the FY2012 TCU Form 990, click here.

To view Part 2 of the FY2012 TCU Form 990, click here.