The fundamental goal of the University’s investment strategy is, and has been, “to maximize the total long-term return on investments…” in order to support the University’s core mission of teaching and research. However, the guidelines reflect the Trustees’ belief that it is appropriate to consider investment-driven social responsibility issues in certain limited circumstances. While these guidelines were designed with investment issues in mind, the introduction to the guidelines suggests that they “can be applied more generally in order to help us consider other kinds of social responsibility issues more efficiently.”
The guidelines state clearly: “There is a strong presumption against the University taking a political position or playing an active role with respect to external issues of a political, social, or moral character.” The Resources Committee has the responsibility to determine when the strong presumption not to take a position regarding issues of broader social concern must be tempered by other considerations. The 1997 guidelines contain criteria for considering exemptions from the presumption and reflect the view that exceptions from maximizing return should be considered in limited circumstances.
The key criterion is that there be “considerable, thoughtful, and sustained campus interest…” and note that the appropriate level of interest may require repeated raising of the issue over an extended period of time…” The Resources Committee must also consider the “magnitude, scope, and representativeness of campus opinions…” A link to the guidelines and criteria for considering exemptions can be found below.
Members of the University community who have concerns regarding the University’s management of its financial resources are invited to contact the Committee. The Committee welcomes thoughtful inquires, consistent with the University’s guidelines and criteria for exemption from investment policies.
Correspondence between the Committee, President Eisgruber, and Mr. Golden (2015) (PDF)