UConn president: Let's push endowment past $1B

By STEPHANIE REITZ | July 9, 2011 | 12:59 PM EDT

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut's new president says it needs to push its endowment fund past $1 billion.

Susan Herbst says the endowment, which is currently about $288 million, is not enough to provide a cushion against tough financial times such as those UConn is currently experiencing.

The university faces millions in state budget cuts and is increasing tuition 2.5 percent this fall, while looking for other ways to cut spending and absorb the loss in state money.

Herbst and her husband recently gave $100,000 of their own money to UConn to emphasize the importance of philanthropy.

She says soliciting donations to bolster the endowment and other projects will be among her top priorities in the new job, and she's already started meeting with current and potential donors.