For those who missed it on Friday, SMU president R. Gerald Turner announced, via a statement posted on the university's Web site, that the school's endowment has taken a significant hit in recent months: "a total decline of 25% from July 1 - February 28," he wrote in a letter headlined "Strengthening SMU's response to economic conditions." Wrote Turner, the university has three major sources of income, with the endowment among them. And since he can't do much about that at the moment, he's taking steps to boost the other two: student enrollment and private donations. Also high on the to-do list: keeping the students SMU's already got on campus. Writes Turner:
Retention of our continuing students remains a top priority. Many of our current students, who, in the past, would not have been eligible for need-based financial aid, now require our assistance in identifying possible sources both internal and external to the University. The involvement of the entire SMU community can do much toward assuring our continued economic stability by meeting our enrollment and retention goals for the fall.