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UC Berkeley Web Feature

Facts at a Glance: Hewlett Challenge

The Hewlett Challenge at UC Berkeley: How Does It Work?
Of the $113-million gift to UC Berkeley from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, $110 million is a challenge grant to attract matching funds to endow 100 new faculty chairs. With the match, the Hewlett Challenge will raise $220 million. Currently, there are 351 chairs at UC Berkeley, supported by $468 million in endowment funds. The Hewlett Challenge will represent nearly a 50-percent increase in the campus’s endowment for faculty chairs. The challenge works as follows:

  • It will match, dollar for dollar, 80 gifts of $1 million each to endow 80 new $2-million faculty chairs. These will be allocated to the campus’s14 schools and colleges in proportion to their percentage of total faculty on the campus.
  • It will also match, dollar for dollar, 20 gifts of $1.5 million each to endow 20 new $3-million distinguished chairs that span multiple academic disciplines.

The remaining $3 million of the Hewlett gift will be used to enhance the investment of these endowed funds.

Endowments in Higher Education
UC Berkeley’s endowment has more than doubled in the past decade, from $1.1 billion to nearly $2.5 billion, but it is small compared to endowments that support private universities that are regarded as UC Berkeley’s peers. Funding for the university from the State of California — currently $533 million, 31 percent of the campus’s annual budget — has remained constant and robust when adjusted for inflation, but it can’t keep pace with the skyrocketing growth of income from endowments at peer universities The Hewlett gift represents a turning point in financing faculty excellence in public higher education.

A Comparison of University Endowments
FY 2006
$29.2 billion
$14.1 billion
$8.4 billion
UC Berkeley
$2.5 billion
Sources: Stanford University, Harvard University, MIT, UC Berkeley Foundation

Largest Gifts to UC Berkeley

  • $113 million, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which includes a challenge gift to raise 100 endowed faculty chairs, 2007
  • $50 million, from an anonymous donor, to launch the Berkeley Health Sciences Initiative, 1999
  • $46.5 million, William V. Power, for faculty excellence, graduate student fellowships, and the Health Sciences Initiative, 2003
  • $40 million, the Li Ka Shing Foundation, to support construction of the Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, 2005
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