Investment Policy Statement
The Oberlin College Investment Policy Statement establishes the policies and procedures that guide the Board of Trustees in supervising management of the endowment.
Role of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees exercises ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the endowment and other investments. In accordance with Oberlin’s Bylaws and Charter, the board delegates direct responsibility for the development, implementation, and monitoring of the investment programs used to manage the endowment to the Investment Committee, while retaining oversight through specific board actions and general policies.
Role of the Investment Committee
The Investment Committee is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of investment policies, controls, and processes related to the endowment, in accordance with the Investment Policy Statement. The committee, in turn, is authorized to delegate certain responsibilities to professional experts in various fields, which may include professional staff employed by the college as well as external investment professionals.
The committee consists of four to nine voting members, the majority of whom must be Oberlin Trustees. The committee is required to meet at least four times annually, but also conducts a significant amount of work between meetings via email or conference call.
The Investment Committee ensures compliance with and regular review of endowment policies and federal regulations.
Role of the Investment Office
The Investment Office executes the investment strategy established by the Investment Committee and facilitates the daily operations associated with managing the endowment. Staff responsibilities include monitoring existing investments, sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities, implementing the investment strategy and target asset allocations, and managing all operational aspects of managing the endowment.
Learn more about how we invest.
Oberlin’s Endowment Spending Policy establishes the rules and guidelines for spending from the endowment to balance the needs of current and future generations of stakeholders. It provides appropriate levels of support to current operations while preserving the long-term, intergenerational purchasing power of the endowment. The policy also provides documentation to ensure compliance with applicable laws.
The Board of Trustees monitors, adjusts, and approves the annual spending distribution.
Conflict of Interest Policy
The Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to protect Oberlin’s financial integrity and to ensure that assets are used in a manner consistent with the institution's standards and mission. To achieve these goals, this policy seeks to identify and manage actual, apparent, or potential conflicts of interest through transparent and appropriate disclosures and approval procedures.
Members of the board, the committee, the vice president for finance and administration, and Investment Office staff are subject to the guidelines established within this policy. The endowment is not invested with any firms in which any trustee, Investment Office staff member, or affiliates of Oberlin has a financial interest.
Please refer to the Oberlin College Conflict of Interest Policy for additional information.
Each year, the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Trustees supervises the retention of an independent certified public accounting firm to conduct a comprehensive financial audit. This process includes the review of Oberlin’s internal processes and ensures that the institution’s presentation of investments is fairly represented in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).