In other Canterbury news, we're about to release New Zealand's first philanthropic bond issue. Full details will soon be up on the University website, but bondholders will be offered the opportunity to consider donating their 7.25 per cent interest earnings back to the University. From the Vice Chancellor's announcement to staff yesterday:
Tomorrow the University will be announcing plans to raise up to $100 million for major capital projects through New Zealand's first listed philanthropic bond issue.Rod Carr, our Vice Chancellor (ie the big boss), is former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - nice innovative move on his part. New Zealand has a poor tradition in general of alumni support for universities, with endowments being generally a very small portion of capital base. Any mechanisms to induce greater alumni support are all for the better.
In the next 10 years the University wants to invest as much as $500 million in developments such as building refurbishments, new buildings, ICT infrastructure and alternative technologies to develop a world-class learning environment that attracts outstanding scholars from across the spectrum of academic disciplines. This bond issue, the first by a New Zealand tertiary institution, will enable the University to accelerate those plans.
Investors will be paid 7.25 per cent interest for five years, with the rate then reset for a further five years, and be entitled to full repayment when the bonds reach maturity in 2019.
Investors will be offered the option of reducing the interest to zero for some or all of their bonds – a decision that they can change should their circumstances change. During the term of the bond investors will also be invited to consider donating part, or all, of the sum owed on maturity.
At Canterbury we're very lucky to have the Erskine Fund, endowed by Engineering graduate John Erskine, which allows us to host visiting scholars to contribute to our teaching programme. In recent years, visitors in Economics have included William Dickens, Mark Blaug, and Richard Arnott. Sir Clive Granger also first visited our Department as an Erskine Fellow and subsequently spent a couple of months here each summer until his passing this year.