University of Iowa’s public-private partnership endowment sees gains in first year

By: | July 7, 2021

Since putting into an endowment $985.9 million of the $1.165 billion it received in an upfront payment as part of a blockbuster 50-year deal to let a private collaborative operate its utilities system, the University of Iowa’s P3 investment fund has increased $139.9 million, officials told The Gazette.

That amounts to a 14 percent increase between March 2020 and May 31, 2021 — bringing the endowment’s total value to $1.125 billion, before campus disbursements aimed at supporting the university’s strategic plan.

When UI in December 2019 first inked its public-private partnership — or P3 — with Paris-based energy provider Engie and investment firm Meridiam, officials modeled the endowment to increase at 4 percent a year. That would have amounted to about $40 million the first year.

In February, UI made good on its promise to put some of the endowment gains back into campus by announcing plans to pull $7.5 million of the investment’s revenue for student retention and success initiatives and to support faculty research opportunities.

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