Quote by chancellor chopp -'We are focusing on what students need in order to be leaders in a complex, global and rapidly changing world.'

Fiscal Prudence for Future Success

Thanks to wise stewardship of resources, carefully calibrated budget strategies, and targeted efforts in fundraising and philanthropic support, the University of Denver is well positioned to advance the priorities outlined in our strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025. These priorities include expanding opportunities for students, supporting knowledge generation and innovation, and building capacity to serve and partner with the city, region and country.

The University of Denver ended the 2017 fiscal year on June 30, marking the 28th consecutive year of positive operations. The year concluded with total operating revenues of $442.6 million.

Thanks to diligent expense control and strong undergraduate student enrollment, the University was able to fund reserves for deferred maintenance, capital expenditures, strategic planning and key programs in DU IMPACT 2025. In addition, the University optimized its working capital to maintain sufficient cash flow and transfer $50 million to quasi-endowment. A prior-year transfer to the quasi-endowment allowed the University to add nearly $3.5 million to the annual financial aid budget — enough to provide need-based aid to hundreds of undergraduates.

The University continues to be dependent on tuition. Tuition (net of financial aid) made up 67 percent of total unrestricted operating revenue in Fiscal Year 2017, compared to 68 percent in Fiscal Year 2016.


2017 Financial Report

Unrestricted Operating Revenue
Tuition & fees$455,148,806
Scholarships & financial aid($160,282,245)
Grants & contracts$32,485,143
Quasi-endowment distribution$7,527,496
Auxiliary enterprises$37,515,111
Endowment & gift release to operations$31,486,793
Other operating revenue$38,768,189
Total unrestricted operating revenue$442,649,293
Unrestricted Operating Expense*
Public services$10,602,327
Academic support$66,148,722
Student services$51,996,004
Institutional support$62,158,537
Auxiliary enterprises$29,478,429
Total unrestricted operating expense$390,215,846
Transfers of operating funds, net$8,571,313
Total unrestricted operating expense and transfers$398,787,159
Operating margin$43,862,134
Other Net Asset Changes
Donor restricted and non-operating gift revenue$32,247,444
Donor restricted and non-operating investment return$63,084,546
Depreciation and interest expense($18,314,593)
Other plant fund expense, net($6,949,148)
Other designated fund expense, net($4,299,355)
Endowment and gift release to operations($31,486,793)
Transfers from operations, net$8,751,313
Total other net asset changes$42,953,414
Total changes in net assets$88,815,548
Total net assets, beginning of year$1,295,026,336
Total net assets, end of year$1,381,841,884

* represents functional expense categories defined by the National Center for Education Statistics

The University’s net asset base increased $86.8 million during Fiscal Year 2017 to $1.4 billion for an annual growth rate of 6.7 percent. Meanwhile, the endowment grew from $607.4 million in 2016 to $711.3 million at the close of the fiscal year. Growth came primarily from gains on investments of $65.4 million, the $50 million transfer from operations and new gifts of $12.2 million. From the endowment $28 million was distributed to operations, primarily for financial aid.

Even with this growth, the endowment remains insufficient for ensuring the University’s long-term fiscal flexibility and sustainability. Currently, the University lacks the endowment support characteristic of its peer group, relying on annual operational budget to fund many initiatives, including 91 percent of undergraduate financial aid. Consequently, building the endowment will remain a University priority for the foreseeable future, particularly as the institution aims to expand its need-based aid to attract the brightest students from all backgrounds.

As in previous years, the University earned an A1 credit rating with stable outlook with Moody’s Investor Service. Moody’s attributes the favorable rating to careful fiscal management, as well as strong strategic positioning and manageable financial leverage.

Five-Year Endowment Balance

five-year endowment balance five-year endowment balance

Building sustainable resources through fundraising

Fundraising efforts for Fiscal Year 2017 generated $55 million in private support from alumni, parents, friends, foundations and corporations. This represents an increase from $46.6 million in the previous year. As the University prepares for a bold comprehensive campaign, its advancement enterprise is building the capacity to increase annual fundraising performance substantially, grow the endowment significantly and contribute to a viable long-term economic model. By optimizing the generosity of DU’s community and friends, the advancement enterprise aims to catalyze the University’s efforts to achieve its goals.

Ten-Year Fundraising Performance

Amounts reported here are not reflected in the University's audited financial statements. These sums include gifts made via testamentary intentions, conditional pledge agreements and gifts in kind.

* 2014 marked the conclusion of the ASCEND fundraising campaign.

Fundraising by Gift Source

Fundraising by Gift Purpose