It’s the time of year when elite universities vie for bragging rights about the performance of their endowments. The probable winner this year is Yale University, which posted a whopping 20.2 percent return. Dartmouth reported a 19.2 percent return, and the University of Pennsylvania showed 17.5 percent.
Harvard, the 800-pound gorilla of the endowment world, reported a measly 15.4 percent. Not coincidentally, it installed a new chief executive officer for Harvard Management Co., which oversees the university's $34.6 billion nest egg.