I’m currently traveling, but I’ll be posting a short story very soon based on WPRB‘s meeting last Friday with Andrew Golden, president of Princeton University Investment Co. (PRINCO), and Cass Cliatt, Princeton’s spokeswoman.
In the meantime, I wanted to point readers to an article that ran last Friday in Princeton’s campus newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, that provides a great deal of context on the comparative policies for ethical review of investments at Princeton, Harvard and Yale– something that becomes more interesting in light of our Friday interview with Golden, who told WPRB he felt Princeton’s system is “more democratic”.
From the Princetonian:
At Yale, an eight-person Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR) meets regularly to discuss ethical investment policies for the school’s endowment, said ACIR chair Jonathan Macey, a law professor and deputy dean of Yale Law School. The committee, composed of two students, alumni, faculty and staff members, makes recommendations to the Yale Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility relating to matters ranging from “company investment in South Africa, to defense contracting, political lobbying and environmental safety,” according to the ACIR website.
Though some of the committee’s meetings are open to the Yale community and the ACIR values outside input, Yale evaluates the ethics of its holdings regardless of community interest, Macey said.
“It’s none of my business what goes on at Princeton, but either an investment policy is ethical or it isn’t,” Macey said. “The idea that it’s only a problem if it upsets a lot of people seems odd to me.”
“It doesn’t seem plausible,” he added. “It sounds like it’s a practical concern at Princeton, not an ethical one.”
Harvard, like Yale, has an Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility composed of faculty, students and alumni that recommends ethical investing policies to the Harvard Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility.
Princeton does not currently have a body specifically devoted to reviewing the ethics of its investment practices.