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June 8, 2021

The University of Utah and its Board of Trustees

  1. Respect and appreciate the many months the University of Utah Academic Senate has spent evaluating the regional and national landscape; garnering input of students, faculty, and staff; and developing a thoughtful analysis
  2. Believe the University of Utah Board of Trustees should strive to be equally methodical and exhaustive in its evaluation of the Academic Senate's report and actions going forward, while ensuring any decisions maximize benefits and minimize any unintended consequences
  • will ask a subset of the Board to:a. assess current University actions and activities related to environmental sustainability,
  • identify those actions and activities with the largest positive and sustained outcomes, and
  • identify potential unintended consequences associated with current and possible actions and how those consequences might be minimized,

and task this group with crafting recommendations for timely consideration by the full Board of Trustees.

UPDATE

On a vote of 69 in favor and 22 opposed, the Academic Senate on April 26, 2021 approved the Ad Hoc Committee’s overall recommendation to realign the University’s endowment toward positive sustainability investments, including eight implementing recommendations.  The matter now goes to the University Board of Trustees for consideration.  The eight recommendations may be summarized as follows:

  • Recommendation 1: Divest from CU200 companies within one year.
  • Recommendation 2: Sell all private equity holdings from upstream and midstream companies within 10 years.
  • Recommendation 3: The University will reinvest the divested funds in positive sustainable investments.
  • Recommendation 4: Where possible, the University should retain fund managers that will advocate for pro-sustainability company policies.
  • Recommendation 5: The University will update its Investment Pool Guidelines to reflect the recommendations.
  • Recommendation 6: The University shall make regular progress reports on the divestment actions.
  • Recommendation 7: The University’s Chief Sustainability Officer will be added to the Investment Advisory Committee.
  • Recommendation 8: The University will establish a transition management team to assist in managing unintended consequences from realignment.

Please read the full Committee report by clicking on the button below.

Final Committee Report