KU Endowment COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

In consideration of the health and safety of our employees and their families, KU Endowment offices remain closed to the public. Only key staff are accessing the building to conduct essential work functions.  

DEVELOPMENT

Is your development staff still working? I would like help in making a gift in support of KU.

Yes, members of our development staff continue to engage with donors, though remotely, in ways that will help provide important philanthropic support for KU. Our staff are receiving exceptional feedback from and actively responding to those who care enough about KU to ask how they can help KU.  If you have questions about a gift for something you are passionate about, speak with your development contact or simply send an email to one of the three individuals below who will be thrilled to help:

      — Vice President
      Medical Development
      913-562-2701
 
       Associate Sr. Vice President
      Constituent Development
      785-832-7328
 
       Executive Vice President
      Development
      785-832-7460
 
 

INVESTMENTS

How does the market downturn affect income distribution amounts?

We are closely watching the changes in the stock market.  Fortunately, income distributions from an account’s investment in the Long-Term Investment Pool (LTIP) are determined by a number of factors, and not solely the short-term ups and downs of the stock market. We have no plans to make immediate changes to the spending rate.
 

If changes are made to income distributions, when would they occur?

The spending policy is calculated annually as of September and becomes effective in February.  While the spending policy can be modified at any time to account for changes in market and economic conditions, we have historically tried to make these changes around the normal spending reset dates.  Any changes, should they become necessary, will be communicated well in advance of the effective date to allow for adequate budget planning.
 

What will be done with fund accounts that are deemed underwater (those funds where the market value has dropped below the donor contribution value)?

When a donor establishes an endowed fund account, the donor expects the endowment to provide resources for the university’s use in perpetuity. When the market values of the investments of these accounts falls below the original gift amount, the account is underwater. KU Endowment has guidelines in place to monitor these underwater endowed accounts to ensure their values are protected from overspending today so they can continue to serve their intended purpose in future years. 
 
Our guidelines do not require any reduction in investment distributions during normal, temporary declines of the investment markets; however, we track each account’s status to determine whether investment distributions should continue when the decline is more significant and may be long-term in nature.
 
The endowed accounts that have been recently established when investment markets were close to their peak will be underwater to the greatest degree. In the near future, we expect to communicate directly with fund account representatives about at-risk accounts.
 

ACCOUNTING & GIFT PROCESSING

Is KU Endowment still processing payment requests in support of university business?

Yes, our Accounting staff continues to work on processing payment requests. However, given that we are working remotely and with limited onsite essential staff, our processing of some transactions may be delayed.
 

Are gifts in support of the university through KU Endowment still being processed?

A reduced number of gift processing staff are supporting this activity. Gifts are still being processed daily and gift receipts are being mailed to donors as they are prepared.
 

Since KU Endowment’s offices are closed, how can I deliver payment requests or deposits to Accounting or drop something off at your office?

If you need to drop off something at the Lawrence office, there is a drop box located inside the front door during what would be our normal office hours, 8am to 5pm Monday-Friday. Alternatively, you can send us items via US mail or electronically via email. Note, all electronic accounting requests should be sent to

Deliveries to our Wichita and Kansas City offices are not advised at the moment, though postal mail is still being delivered. Essential staff are monitoring the mail but responses may be delayed.

 

SCHOLARSHIP ADMINISTRATION & STUDENT LOANS

How is COVID-19 going to impact scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year?

University scholarship administrators were given access to the Scholarship Projection report in IFAS for the 2020-2021 academic year on March 12, 2020. This report provides the projected scholarship resources available to award for the upcoming academic year. Departments are using this information for budgeting their scholarship resources for AY 2020 – 2021 now.
 

I have a specific question regarding scholarship administration. Who may I call?

Questions regarding scholarships may be directed to

      , AVP
      Loan Programs and Scholarship Administration
      (785) 832-7439
 
      , Scholarship Liaison
      (785) 832-7366 
 

I know a student who needs financial assistance. Does KU Endowment have any funds available?

Students experiencing a financial emergency are encouraged to visit KU's Emergency Aid Network's online resource page.

For questions regarding KU Endowment’s Student Loan Program, please email the loan department at loanoffice@kuendowment.org or call (785) 832-7450.
 

I'm a student borrower or co-signer on a student loan. I'm worried about not being able to make payments on the loan. What should I do?

We understand you may not be able to make payments at this time. Please let us know if you need to delay your next few payments by sending an email to the Loan Office.
 
If you have questions about your loan or the timing of your next payment, please call the Loan Office at 785-832-7450 and leave a message.  We are checking voicemail throughout the day during regular business hours (8-5, M-F) and will return your call as soon as we can.
 

I'd like to give money to a student or faculty member in need. How do I do that?

KU Endowment established the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to assist the university community with needs related to the pandemic. Funds contributed will be made available to the Chancellor to address pressing institutional needs. We are not able to process gifts as charitable contributions if they are designated for specific individuals.