PRIVATE ISLAND - In an effort to turn around Grinnell’s ailing endowment fund situation, the Grinnell Board of Trustees are considering measures that would significantly cut down the money spent on Trustee meals, retreats, meetings, and travelling.
“We are very aware that everyone must make sacrifices if the Grinnell endowment wants to continue being profitable” Dex Duthor, a trustee, said. “We are cutting down on financial aid for students, we are getting rid of need-blind aid, dining hall food quality has gone down considerably due to budget cuts… It’s only fair that we do our part too”
Some of the more radical ideas put forward have been limiting the luxury Summer retreats to once every two years, flying first class ‘regularly’ instead of ‘very regularly’, and replacing the Romanee-Conti Pinot Noir Wine offered at Grinnell House for the more affordable Domaine Coche-Dury Chardonnay Wine.
“They’ll have us living like savages” David Koch complained “But if having caviar and truffles only once in a while helps the ailing endowment, then so be it”.
Other trustees are more skeptical over whether these cuts will actually work. Amschel Rothschild, a board member who has been serving Grinnell College since 2002, advocates for more what he calls “more direct, effective action.”
“Our main area of focus should be cutting down on waste and unnecessary costs– and this means cutting down on the money spend on the student body instead of that spent on Trustees.” Rothschild stated at the most recent Trustee meeting. “After all, the vast majority of money is spent on students. Even though there are more of them, and that it is the students who pay the college fees, and Grinnell College’s purpose is to give students a quality education, we spend too much money on students and not enough on giving Trustees fancy meals and comfortable retreats.”
When asked what his budget cuts would look like, Rothschild was candid. “Obviously I’m still fleshing out these ideas, but something I have always been in favor of is cutting down on department’s budgets, starting with the Arts.” he said. “Yes, the Art department is already severely underfunded – but is there such a thing as too much underfunding? After all, Art majors are likely to not make any money after graduating, and so they won’t donate anything back to us! They are what investors call a ‘fail-sure’ investment, in that it’s sure to fail.”