ATHENS – The University of Georgia Athletic Association’s board of directors voted Friday to invest $30 million from cash reserves through the UGA Foundation, which manages non-athletic donor funds for the school, in an attempt to get a higher rate of return.
The UGA Athletic Association currently has about $68 million in reserves, money that it says is in the bank drawing little interest.
The plan is to put slightly less than half of the reserves “to work for us in maybe a more aggressive stance to help us meet both current and future long-term needs of the association,” Tim Burgess, UGA senior vice president for finance and administration and Athletic Association treasurer, told the board before the vote.
Board member Jeffrey Dorfman, a UGA professor, spoke and voted against the action.
“I think before we move $30 million of Athletic Association money into a different form of investment, the people that are going to manage that investment ought to come here and make a presentation to the board,” he said.
Dorfman also questioned whether the UGA Foundation’s investment-strategy goals match the Athletic Association’s, which he said are shorter term.
“I don’t disagree at all with maybe moving some of our money to a more aggressive investment strategy,” he said, “but I think we might want to look at having a separate investment advisor than the UGA Foundation.”
The measure passed easily by voice vote but — unlike most matters that come before the Athletic Board — not unanimously.
UGA president Michael Adams supported the measure.
Athletic director Greg McGarity said getting a better rate of return on some of the reserve funds could help cover expenses like one the board approved Friday — $1.6 million to replace air-conditioning and heating systems in 50 suites on the south side of Sanford Stadium — without dipping into principal.
Also at Friday’s regularly scheduled meeting, the board:
– Tim Tucker