Statement on UC Town Hall

We issued the following statement tonight to The Crimson, members of the administration, and the UC:

The Responsible Investment at Harvard coalition is grateful for the Undergraduate Council’s role in planning and hosting a Town Hall on Harvard’s Investment Policies last Thursday. The highly attended event reflects widespread interest on campus in learning more about how Harvard manages its money and how it could become a more responsible institutional investor.

RI@Harvard was glad that Prof. Khurana, Prof. Kaplan, Prof. Ferrell and Dr. Zevin were able to share their thoughtful and diverse perspectives on how the Harvard Management Company (HMC) manages the endowment. We were also pleased to hear Prof. Kaplan announce that the HMC would assume management of the Fair Harvard Fund—which allows donors to ensure their money is invested according to socially responsible principles—if the administration requests that it do so.

We are highly disappointed by the HMC’s decision to retract our invitation to Dr. Joshua Humphreys—a preeminent scholar on university endowment ethics and a former Harvard lecturer—after he was invited by RI@Harvard, confirmed by the UC, and widely publicized as a confirmed participant. HMC’s refusal to send representatives to speak on a panel alongside Dr. Humphreys reflects its lack of commitment to transparency and open dialogue.

Despite the HMC’s decision to stifle free speech last week, RI@Harvard remains committed to developing an open and inclusive relationship with the HMC. In an effort to promote a more open dialogue, RI@Harvard plans to convene a follow-up Town Hall before the end of the semester. RI@Harvard will invite all community members interested in having an open discussion about Harvard’s endowment, including Dr. Humphreys, representatives of the HMC, President Drew Faust, and members of the Harvard Corporation.

We call on everyone committed to an inclusive, transparent, and responsible Harvard endowment to express their support for Dr. Humphreys by making a donation to the Fair Harvard Fund.

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