Vanderbilt Discloses Deals With Old Friends

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, July 6, 2012

Vanderbilt University did millions of dollars’ worth of business with companies and other entities with ties to university trustees and officers, according to its most recent tax return, which covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.

The transactions, the university’s latest tax return shows, totaled about $70 million, quadruple the $17 million reported the year before. University officials released a copy of the return, known as a 990, last week. The listings include payments to and from Vanderbilt and entities linked to trustees and officers of the university.

Because it includes a hospital facility, Vanderbilt, under recent IRS rule changes, is required to file a more detailed accounting of any business dealings with companies that have ties to its officers and directors.

The largest of those transactions was a $57 million payment to Vanderbilt from an investment fund, the Courage Special Situations Fund LP. It was described in the tax return as “net capital distributions” to Vanderbilt. Courage Special Situations, according to the return, is run and owned by a family member to Vanderbilt trustees Orrin and John Ingram and their mother, former board Chairman Martha Ingram.

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