30S-22: The Fair Harvard Fund Endorsement Act
UC Rules Chair David LeBoeuf (Pforzheimer ‘13); UC Secretary Michael George (Quincy ‘14); UC Finance Chair Matt Marotta (Kirkland ‘14); UC Vice Chair of Student Life Committee Jen Zhu (Quincy ‘14); UC Vice Chair of Student Relations Committee Tara Raghuveer (Currier ‘14); UC Vice Chair of Finance Committee Rajiv Tarigopula (Winthrop ‘14); UC Parliamentarian Darragh Nolan (Elm Yard ‘15); UC Representative Jared Daar (Dudley ‘12): UC Representative Ryan Berry (Dunster ‘12); UC Representative Afoma Umeano (Lowell ‘13); UC Representative Akshay Sharma (Cabot ‘14)
UC President Emeritus Senan Ebrahim (Quincy ‘12); UC Vice President Emeritus Bonnie Cao (Pforzheimer ‘12); UC Treasurer Emeritus Brad Paraszczak (Kirkland ‘11); UC Representative Emeritus Vicky Koski-Karell (Dudley ‘12); UC Representative Emeritus Allen Yang (Eliot ‘11); UC Representative Emeritus Farhan Murshed (Dunster ‘11); UC Representative Emeritus Joshua Nuni (Cabot ‘10); Senior Second Class Marshal Lange Luntao (Kirkland ‘12); Senior Class Marshal Athena Lao (Cabot ‘12); Perspective Magazine President Rachel Sandalow-Ash (Lowell ‘15); Harvard Dems President Adan Acevedo (Lowell ‘13); Harvard Dems Vice President Will Poff-Webster (Leverett ‘14); PBHA President Carolyn Chou (Pforzheimer ‘13); IOP Student President Jenny Ye (Kirkland ‘13); Harvard Social Responsibility Trust President Evelyn Chow (Adams ‘12); Students for a Just and Stable Future Representative Mihir Chaudhary (Cabot ‘12); Palestine Solidarity Committee Co-Chair Giacomo Bagarella (Currier ‘13); Progressive Jewish Alliance Chair Emily Unger (Quincy ‘13); Progressive Jewish Alliance Vice-Chair of Programming Sandra Korn (Eliot ‘14); Harvard Crimson Associate Editorial Executive Marina Bolotnikova (Eliot ‘14); Asian American Association Co-President Rachael Foo (Eliot ‘14); Asian American Association Co-President Pamela Yau (Eliot ‘14); Asian American Association Former Co-President Chase Hu (Quincy ‘12); Harvard Student Labor Action Movement Coordinator Will Whitham (Dudley ‘14); Harvard Islamic Society President Anastasia Nast (Eliot ‘12); Harvard Islamic Society Vice President Asmaa Rimawi (Lowell ‘14); Harvard Islamic Society Treasurer Talhah Zubair (Adams ‘14); Sustained Dialogue President Ekene Agu (Eliot ‘13); Transgender Task Force Chair Jia Hui Lee (Leverett ‘12); Harvard International Women’s Rights Collective President Kate Sim (Quincy ‘14); Harvard Environmental Action Committee Chair Serena Zhao (Currier ‘12); Harvard Global Health & AIDS Coalition Member Lily Ostrer (Kirkland ‘14); Collin Rees (Adams ‘12); Angela Primbas (Leverett ‘12); Sasha Rohret (Pfoho ‘12); Sabrina Lee (Dunster ‘12); Nicole Granath (Currier ‘15); Sam Wohns (Quincy ‘14); Krishna Dasaratha (Quincy ‘13); Diane Choi (Quincy ‘10); Amanda Wyatt (Currier ‘12); Leslie Rith-Najarian (Currier ‘12); Chris Hernandez (Mather ‘13); Justin Junge (Eliot ‘03); Patricia Levi (Winthrop ‘12); Victor Yang (Winthrop ‘12); Lillian Kivel (Lowell ‘13); Jai Beeman (Adams ‘13); Mary Davies (Quincy ‘13); Ben Dobkin (Kirkland ‘12); Aryeh Gold-Parker (Kirkland ‘12); Zachary Bernstein (Leverett ‘13); Nicole Cochran (Cabot ‘12); Angela Frankel (Quincy ‘14); Amy Sun (Quincy ‘12); Ling Lin (Quincy ‘12); Evan Covington (Kirkland ‘12); Sam Galler (Quincy ‘12); Yi Han (Quincy ‘12); Abby Schiff (Adams ‘11); Leah Reis-Dennis (Eliot ‘13); Anita Hofschneider (Leverett ‘12); Lucy O’Leary (Dudley ‘12); Sandra Korn (Eliot ‘14); Yacoub Kureh (Quincy ‘13); Suvai Gunasekaran (Quincy ‘13); Yannis Kalogirou-Valtis (Leverett ‘13); Courtney Singleton (Cabot ‘12); Jonas Wang (Dudley ‘12); Nico Hawley-Weld (Dudley ‘12); Samuel Brotherton (Quincy ‘12); Peter Davis (Currier ‘12); James Sares (Dudley ‘12); Chandan Lodha (Cabot ‘13); Sam Melton (Adams ‘13); Erin Harrington (Cabot ‘12); Justin Drelos (Cabot ‘13); Nadia Farjood (Currier ‘13); S. Alison Kraemer (Mather ‘12); Iman James (Dudley ‘12); Natalie Padilla (Leverett ‘12)
Whereas in October of 2011, a group of Harvard students, alumni, and community affiliates formed the Coalition for Responsible Investment at Harvard (RI@Harvard) with the intention of working with Harvard’s administration towards the promotion of more responsible investment practices for the University’s endowment;
Whereas the RI@Harvard coalition has over 300 members, including 250 undergraduates;
Whereas the RI@Harvard coalition has identified several areas of potential innovation, including: (i) the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors across all asset classes, a move pursued by many large institutional investors, such as The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), (ii) the renewal and expansion of the mandates of the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR) and the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR) in addressing shareholder concerns beyond proxy voting, and (iii) the establishment of a social choice fund to provide interested donors with the opportunity to invest their commitments with responsible investment strategies, towards further ESG integration in the endowed funds as a whole;
Whereas the Fair Harvard Fund (FHF), launched by RI@Harvard on March 21, 2012, seeks to motivate the Harvard Management Company (HMC) to establish a social choice fund for this purpose;
Whereas this coalition has actively encouraged donations to the FHF from current students (especially undergraduate seniors) and alumni, raising over $6,000 from over 240 donors in three weeks;
Whereas All donations to the FHF will be held in escrow by RI@Harvard at the Cambridge Savings Bank, until August 1, 2012;
Be it therefore Resolved that the Harvard Undergraduate Council officially endorse the Fair Harvard Fund’s efforts to secure the Harvard Management Company’s commitment to accepting, responsibly investing, and perpetually allowing alumni donations to the FHF by August 1, 2012, after which point the FHF will be managed by HMC in accordance with responsible investment practices, to be determined in conjunction with representatives of the RI@Harvard coalition;
Be it further Resolved that if the HMC fails to accept and responsibly invest the FHF by August 1, 2012, the Harvard Undergraduate Council supports the active management of the Fair Harvard Fund by the Responsible Endowments Coalition, according to criteria established by the RI@Harvard coalition in conjunction with all interested Harvard affiliates;
Be it further Resolved that the Undergraduate Council actively engage with the administration to make sure the above goals are met in a timely and efficient fashion;
Be it further Resolved that the President of the Undergraduate Council coordinate with the RI@Harvard Coalition to send a mail merge communication dedicated to the publicization of undergraduate support of the Fair Harvard Fund.
Be it further Resolved that RI@Harvard circulate notice of this endorsement to University President Drew Faust, Provost Alan Garber, Dean of FAS Michael Smith, Dean of Harvard College Evelynn Hammonds, and CEO of the Harvard Management Company Jane Mendillo.
The Harvard Class of 1962 wrote a letter to President Drew Faust asking the university to establish a social choice fund:
August 25, 2012
Dear President Faust,
As a result of discussions at our recent 50th reunion, many of us in the class of 1962 have become concerned that our contributions to Harvard are being invested in ways that are harmful to our planet and the people on it. We would like to see Harvard, a leader in so many respects, take the lead in responsible investing.
We ask Harvard to establish a responsible investment fund similar to those offered by other universities asan option for those who would like to contribute to Harvard but are not satisfied with its current investment policy. A strong undergraduate movement working for responsible investing is already in place, and we support their efforts. A number of us are contributing to the Fair Harvard Fund, whose assets will be turned over to the university when the alternative option has been established. We also ask that Harvard. We also ask that Harvard enhance the transparency with which its endowment is managed and scrutinize its entire portfolio to apply environmental, social and governance criteria across the endowment.
We would be glad to meet with you in the Fall, accompanied by undergraduate members of the RI@Harvard/Fair Harvard Fund campaign. We look forward to hearing from you.
Jane Mendillo, CEO of the Harvard Management Company, responded to this letter.
Dear Ms. Gullette:
President Faust has shared with me your email on behalf of a number of your classmates in the Class of 1962.
At Harvard Management Company, our paramount mission is to produce long-term investment results to support the educational and research goals of the University. We are, by the nature of our mission, concerned with responsible stewardship and sustainability. While we are careful to avoid constraining our investment portfolio unnecessarily, we are responsible investors who fully vet potential investments and investment partners for long-term viability. We hold ourselves and our managers to a high standard regarding areas such as environmental stewardship, labor practices, and good governance.
We are aware that some members of the Harvard community have expressed interest in the prospect of a “social choice fund,” and several students recently met with President Faust to reinforce this interest. The University will continue to weigh the pros and cons of such a fund, in the context of our overall commitment to shareholder responsibility and sound investment practices in the best long-term interests of the University. We appreciate your contribution to this dialogue.
Please know that we are keenly focused on our mission of assuring long-term support for Harvard’s vital academic programs, and thank you again for your perspective.
Jane L. Mendillo
President and Chief Executive Officer