Field Museum endowment hurt by economy

Jan. 7, 2009 at 1:03 PM

CHICAGO, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The struggling U.S. economy and stock market has resulted in a 30 percent decrease in the endowment for Chicago's Field Museum, officials say.

Field Museum President John McCarter said the loss of nearly $95 million from the natural history museum's endowment has resulted in layoffs for some employees and salary cuts for others, the Chicago Sun-Times said Wednesday.

"We're trying to buckle down,'' said McCarter, who took a 20 percent salary cut as part of recent cost-saving measures.

Museums in the Park President Gary T. Johnson said the endowment loss by the tourist destination is part of a growing trend of lessening endowments of certain nonprofit institutions.

Johnson told the Sun-Times that institutions reliant on investment revenue are losing endowment funds as the stock market continues to struggle through rough economic times.

McCarter said during the last six months alone, the Field Museum's endowment has decreased from $315 million to around $220 million.

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