Taking the Check or Checking the Take

Assessing the Regulation of Catholic Universities' Endowments

  • Aaron Salzman


This essay studies the endowments of modern American colleges and universities. It examines the norms that govern the activities that affect the size of the endowment, specifically spending, acceptance of donations, and investment of endowment funds. The norms regulating the latter two are found to be insufficient, as is evidenced by their inconsistent application. However, American catholic colleges and universities apply the norms regulating investments more consistently than other schools. Catholic colleges' and universities' Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) practices are found to be rooted in the catholic church's official teaching on catholic universities as found in ex corde ecclesiae and the catechism of the catholic church. These documents suggest the need to develop, codify and apply even more rigorous norms governing the acceptance of donations and investment of endowment funds at every American catholic college and university. 

Author Biography

Aaron Salzman

Aaron Salzman is a junior studying Philosophy, with minors in Theology and Hispanic Studies. He has joined Climate Justice at BC, has been a fellow in the Better Future Project’s Climate Justice Fellowship Program and has helped to organize the Catholic Divestment Network, a platform for fossil fuel divestment campaigns at American Catholic colleges and universities. He has also interned for the Global Catholic Climate Movement and remains involved in its activities. While still discerning his larger goals, he intends to pursue an advanced degree in philosophy and develop his interest in environmental philosophy and environmental issues in general.

How to Cite
Salzman, A. (2021). Taking the Check or Checking the Take. Elements, 15(1), 67-74. https://doi.org/10.6017/eurj.v16i1.14067