Liquidity is the availability of cash access to Oberlin College. In 2010, the Investment Committee decided to increase the liquidity of the endowment to avoid the possibility of being forced to sell securities (stocks/bonds) in a market that would not provide for the best return.
The chart below explains how the money from our endowment and cash equivalents are being invested.
The liquidity (or availability of funds) issue partly helps explain why it's so hard for the college to undertake massive projects that will have a long term cost benefit. A really good example is the coal plant. Even though its straight-up financially idiotic for us to be on this FRACtured system, so many of oberlin's assets are tied up in investments, or ear-marked for other specific projects, that it's very difficult to get the force needed to make the jump. (read more about this specific issue here: Why is the College Still on Coal Energy?)