UMass Foundation Moves Forward on Sudan Divestment
The Investment Committee of the University of Massachusetts Foundation has directed the managers of its discrete actively managed funds to divest from companies on the divestment list maintained by the Sudan Divestment Task Force (SDTF) and to make no new investments in companies on that list.
Additionally, the Foundation will inform its investment consultant of its fiduciaries' interest in being free of those companies and ask that this preference be communicated to the Foundation's commingled-fund managers.
Investment Committee Chairman Roy J. Zuckerberg said, "We take seriously our fiduciary responsibilities to the University, its students, faculty and alumni. We are taking this action because we believe that it is the right thing to do."
UMass President Jack M. Wilson applauded the Committee's decision, saying: "I am delighted by the Committee's decision. It is yet another example of this group's commitment and leadership on behalf of the University of Massachusetts. This decision is consistent with the University's traditions and values."
The divestment decision affects approximately $530,000 in investments made on behalf of the University of Massachusetts, or 0.18 percent of its $290 million endowment.
The Clinton and Bush administrations and Congress have officially declared that the government of Sudan is engaged in genocide and have invoked economic sanctions against that nation, prohibiting U.S. corporations from conducting business in Sudan unless it is of a humanitarian nature.
Divestment of state funds invested in companies doing business with the Sudanese government has become law in seven states and similar legislation is pending in 20 additional states, including Massachusetts. Federal legislation supporting targeted divestment was introduced in Congress last month by Senator Dick Durban (D-IL). Co-sponsors of Senator Durbin's bipartisan legislation include Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).
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