Cover Story: UC by the Numbers

Private audit is now public

Aug 24, 2000 at 2:06 pm

It's one of the largest employers in town. It grinds out more sheepskins each spring than any place else. Yet it remains a complete mystery, even to its own students and faculty.

Meet the University of Cincinnati, the massive mega-plex that takes in more, and spends more, each year than any other learning institution in town.

How do you get a grip on this behemoth? We always say the way to a university's heart is through its bank account. And one way to peruse its bank account is courtesy of the PriceWaterhouse Coopers independent audit of the University of Cincinnati, filed at the Ohio Auditor of State's office in December 1999. Yes, the two magic words here are "public record" — the audit is on the state's public record because UC accepts $184.2 million of our tax bucks.

We requested a copy of the PriceWaterhouse Coopers independent audit through the Freedom of Information Act. Here's a breezy tour through the one-inch thick document:

UC's Top 5 Sources of Revenue

Ohio taxpayers$184.2 million

2. Students (tuition and fees)$160.6 million

3. Federal grants$95.4 million

4. Income from sales/services$95.0 million

5. Private gifts/endowments$60.1 million

Top 6 Moneymakers on Campus
1. University bookstore$17.4 million

2. Dorms/dining halls$16.3 million

3. Parking lots/garages$9.9 million

4. Intercollegiate athletics$7.6 million

5. Shoemaker Center$890,000

6. Tangeman Student Center$464,000

NOTE: Based on gross revenues only. Based on revenues minus expenditures, intercollegiate athletics tops the list with $1.3 million in bottom-line profit.

Top 5 Places UC Chooses to Invest
1. Corporate stocks$329.9 million

2. U.S. government securities/ other securities $121.7 million

3. Corporate notes/bonds$110.7 million

4. Mutual funds$104.5 million

5. Real estate$1.8 million

NOTE: Total amount of money the university has squirreled away in investments: $668.8 million.

Amount of Money UC Lost Last Year in the Health Alliance
$2.9 million. The university's equity interest in the Health Alliance is a 29.09 percent pro-rated share of the profits. Or, in this case, losses. The much ballyhooed Health Alliance — a joint operating agreement between University, Christ, St. Luke and Jewish hospitals — was, of course, supposed to save everyone money, not lose it. Ah, details, details.

Students? Who Needs Students?
Amount of money the university gets from the federal government for student financial aid: $13.7 million.

Amount of money the university gets from the federal government for scientific research and development: $68 million.

UC's Top 10 Cushy Federal Research Contracts
1. National Institutes of Health $51.6 million*

2. United States Navy$5.6 million

3. National Science Foundation$4 million

4. United States Army$2.9 million

5. Environmental Protection Agency$2.9 million

6. Department of Energy$1.3 million

7. United States Air Force$1.2 million

8. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the Rock & Roll division of those happy-go-lucky guys at the Pentagon)$1 million

9. Department of Justice$819,000

10. HUD$741,000

* NIH's most sizable grants awarded to UC: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; National Institute of Child Health; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Institute for Occupational Safety; National Cancer Institute; National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institute on Deafness, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Our Top 4 Favorite Also-Ran Federal Contracts
1. NASA*$666,000

2. National Security Agency$175,000

3. Defense Special Weapons Department$84,000

4. Agency for International Development**$2,800

*Includes work on "intelligent auto"

** For work on "condom study"

Top 10 Priciest Athletic Endowments (Market Value)
1. Herschede Scholarship$1.4 million

2. Herschede Football Scholarship$608,000

3. Clifford Goldmeyer Unitrust$277,000

4. IAE Fund$270,000

5. Jake & Anne Drake Unitrust$243,000

6. UCats Life Members$220,000

7. George and Helen Smith Fund$180,000

8. George Smith Society$160,000

9. Charles H. Keating Jr. Fund$150,000

10. E. & M. Alexander Fund$148,000

Top 5 Athletic Programs as Ranked by Operating Revenues
1. Football$3.6 million

2. Men's basketball$3.4 million

3. Women's sports*$1.6 million

4. Men's sports**$1.2 million

5. Women's basketball$769,000

* Except basketball

** Except football and basketball

NOTE: The football total includes $502,000 in television and radio rights; the men's basketball total includes $492,000 in television and radio rights.

The University of Cincinnati's Bottom Line
Total cash on hand$40.3 million

Total investments$668.8 million

Fixed assets (physical plant)$1.2 billion

Other assets$784 million

Total assets*$2.7 billion

* Does not include $68.1 million in assets held by the University of Cincinnati Foundation, a separate non-profit organization.