University trusts

  1. The University holds a large amount of funds on trust to be applied for specific purposes narrower than those of the University itself (for example for a specific department). Many, though not all, of these trusts are set out in Trust Regulations, some of which are scheduled to the University’s Statutes.
  2. The University, through Council, has ultimate responsibility for the trust funds and their administration. On a day-to-day basis, that administration has been delegated, for most trusts, to individual boards of management. In order to fulfil its duties as the ultimate trustee, the University has put in place a Trusts Management Board. This acts as an oversight mechanism, to support and monitor the operation of the boards of management.
  3. One of the most significant trusts is the University of Oxford Development Trust Fund (“OUDT”), which exists for the benefit of the Colleges as well as the University, and which is described more fully below. The Trusts Management Board acts as the board of management for OUDT.
  4. The Trusts Management Board is made up of the following:
    • the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Resource Allocation;
    • a representative from the Conference of Colleges;
    • the Director of Finance;
    • the Director of Legal Services and General Counsel; and
    • the Secretaries to the University’s Academic Divisions.

The Secretary to the Board is the Trusts Administrator (Ellen Hudspith: (01865) (2) 80092), from whom further information can be obtained.

  1. The University launched its fundraising ‘Campaign for Oxford’ in October 1988. It decided in 1989 to establish a new trust, to be known as the ‘Campaign for Oxford Trust’; so as to able to receive donations for the benefit both of itself and of the colleges.
  2. The University also wanted to reassure prospective donors that gifts not earmarked for specific purposes would not be ‘lost sight of’ among the University’s general revenues but would be credited to the new separate trust.
  3. In 1995, after the Campaign ended, Council agreed that the Fund should continue, but under another name. It was therefore agreed to change the name to the ‘University of Oxford Development Trust Fund’ by means of a supplemental deed, which was effected in March 1995.
  4. In 2010 Council resolved to update the original trust deed in the light of legislative changes over the preceding twenty years, and to add some new features, including those summarised in paragraphs (8) and (9) below. The revised and restated Trust Deed was executed on 7 December 2010.
  5. The University remains the sole Trustee of OUDT. It has delegated the management of investments to the Investment Committee; and its other delegable functions to the Trust Management Board.
  6. The objects of OUDT continue unchanged – “to procure, assist and secure the advancement of education, learning, teaching, scholarship and research at or in connection with the University and its Colleges and other Societies insofar as the same are charitable”: Note that this does not include religious or heritage objects; and any gifts of that kind to Colleges should not be routed through OUDT. Note also that although “College” is so defined as to include the Permanent Private Halls, OUDT does not cover the Recognised Independent Centres, the University Church, Rhodes House or Maison Française.
  7. The funds of OUDT continue to be expendable endowment, unless the terms of a particular donation specify otherwise.
  8. Within OUDT there are a number of “broad purpose funds” – funds restricted for graduate scholarships, undergraduate scholarships, teaching, the Divisions, the Museums, the Bodleian, the Colleges etc. The context in which these operate, and the manner in which the Development Office uses them in the solicitation of benefactions, can be seen from the Memorandum for Intending Benefactors (See the FAQ: “What are the University’s Arrangements for Accommodating Benefactions and Complying with Benefactors’ Wishes?”). The Trusts Management Board is responsible for the oversight of each of these funds, and for the allocation of investment income to each fund in the appropriate proportions; but some of them have their own operational mechanisms – for example, the Oxford Graduate Scholarship Fund and the Oxford Teaching Fund.
  9. Unrestricted gifts are credited to the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund (which is itself one of the broad purpose funds).
  10. On occasion, OUDT also acts as the conduit for donations intended for other University or College trusts.
  1. The University as the Trustee of OUDT has delegated to the Trust Management Board all the University’s delegable functions in relation to OUDT except the management of investments, which is delegated to the Investment Committee. Under the Investment Committee the management of all investments except the Deposit Pool has been entrusted to Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd (“OUEM”), a company owned by the University which is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
  2. The role of the Trust Management Board is to decide whether particular OUDT funds should be invested in (i) the Oxford Endowment Fund (ii) the Oxford Capital Fund (iii) the Bonds and Gilts Fund or (iv) the Deposit Pool. The decision in each case will depend upon whether the funds in question are (a) permanent endowment (b) expendable endowment or (c) income: and if (b) or (c) then what period or periods are in contemplation for the application of the funds.
  3. For further information about OUEM and the investment vehicles, please refer to OUEM’s Chief Operating Officer, Fay Ashwell: (01865) (6)14978.

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