Although the UC investment portfolio seems to have survived the financial storm, its total stock holdings are still down $6.5 billion in value from last year.

On the whole, the University of California Regents’ total portfolio market value has dipped almost 9 percent in the past year. Currently, according to an investment report released by the university at the beginning of this tumultuous month, the UC portfolio is valued at almost $67 billion.

Despite the distressing figures unveiled in the analysis, the UC maintains that its long term investment strategies and diversified portfolio have sheltered the university from the stock market squall.

“As a long-term investor, market fluctuations – up and down – are to be expected,” UC press release read. “UC overall investments remain sound amidst the recent market turmoil. UC portfolios are well-diversified and recent stock market volatility is mitigated by investments in other asset classes.”

Trey Davis, UC Director of Special Projects, said the relative stability of the UC is a product of investment policy.

“The UC does not invest in companies, just index funds – a category or grouping of stocks,” Davis said. “So even if a company goes bankrupt the product still exists.”

As a result, the collapse of Wall Street giants such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and American International Group have had little overall effect on the varied investments of the UC. In a press release addressing the current crisis on Wall Street, the University said any toxic stocks included in their index account for only a small percentage of their total portfolio.

“The handful of problematic companies such as AIG and Lehman, while represented within the indexed portion of the equity program, are a relatively insignificant percentage of the overall holdings,” the UC stated in the press release.

Also included in the UC investment report is a quarterly breakdown of individual portfolios.

The UC Short Term Investment Portfolio, the cash investment pool that provides funds for payroll, operation expenses and construction, has lost about $1 billion this year and was valued at approximately $8 billion as of the end of June.

Still, according to Davis the very existence of this autonomous short-term investment pool has spared the UC from the financial crisis many smaller academic institutions are currently weathering.

“You have to look at the University separately,” Davis said. “The UC has its own investments and short term investment pool, and many of the financial troubles applying to [private or] smaller universities, such as not being able to fund necessary construction, do not apply to an institution the size of the UC.”

The report also revealed a downturn in the University of California Retirement Plan portfolio, a benefit plan defined by an employee’s age, average salary and length of service. The portfolio has lost over $2.5 billion this year, taking its total value down to $42 billion.

Officials from the UC maintained that such fluctuations in the market would not interfere with employees’ promised pension plans.

“It is important to note that the benefits paid by the UCRP are not directly impacted by gains or losses in its investments,” a UC press release read. “The regents… have the responsibility to pay benefits accrued benefits as defined by the UC Retirement Plan regardless of investment returns.”

In spite of current market turmoil and a visible downturn in UC market value, Davis said strategic investment would spare the UC from the worst of the financial storm.

“Obviously, in a global economic downturn everyone is effected,” Davis said. “But by not putting all of our eggs in one basket, we diversified our investments and minimized risk. We are in a good position.”