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Letter from Christopher J. Winslow, CFO and Vice President for Finance and Administration

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2010 Operating Expenses

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2010 Operating Expenses


2010 People

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2010 People
WHOI employees totaled 825 in 2010, students and postdocs totaled 202, and others affiliated with the Institution totaled 246.

We are pleased to present the CY 2010 unaudited financial statements of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). WHOI completed CY 2010 in good financial condition primarily attributable to strong returns of the endowment, an increase in revenue, and improved operational efficiencies. The Institution is also pleased to announce that S&P issued an investment grade rating of AA- with a Stable Outlook.

S&P Rating AA- with Stable Outlook
The Institution recently received the results of our Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Bond Rating Review, which was conducted on October 13, 2010. The Institution was notified in May 2011. The Institution received a rating of AA- with a Stable Outlook. This favorable rating will enable the Institution to negotiate better banking terms, easily establish partnering relationships for federal government grants, and provide potential donors and foundations with evidence of a stable financial outlook to go along with WHOI’s scientific superlatives.

Statement of Financial Position

WHOI continues to have a strong balance sheet. At December 31, 2010, WHOI’s total assets were $504 million, total liabilities were $180 million and total net assets were $324 million.

Net assets represent the accumulated financial strength of a not for profit organization and are an important gauge of its ability to carry out its mission. Included in the liabilities is the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority bond debt of $61.8 million.

The endowment, $338 million represents 67% of the total assets at December 31, 2010.

Statement of Activities

WHOI’s total operating revenues increased by $31 million; from $172 million in CY 2009 to $203 million in CY 2010; and the Institution recognized a gain of approximately $2.2 million.

$16.3 million of endowment income and appreciation was distributed to operations as follows:

  • Education        $6.6 million
  • Research         $5.9 million
  • Unrestricted    $3.8 million

The Institution had overhead costs of $83.5 million, and approximately 65% of that amount, $53.7 million, was recovered from the government and non-government research. The remainder was institutional expenses.

WHOI paid $5.4 million in interest during CY 2010 and $1.4 million in principal payments on the $61.8 million outstanding debt in CY 2010. The Federal government allows interest and depreciation for real property and equipment in the Institution’s overhead rates for reimbursement.


The Institution’s commitment to understanding the oceans is unchanged; however, the federal funding environment continues to provide a challenge. WHOI is looking to expand its sources of revenue by leveraging its industry recognized core skills in both the federal and industry marketplaces. We are also continuing the process of evaluating our administrative systems and allocating resources to support our science, S&P rating, and an evolving organization.

Christopher J. Winslow, CFO and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Last updated: June 8, 2011

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