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June 15, 2016

UMass Trustees endorse fossil fuel divestment

  • The UMass System
Board backs UMass Foundation decision

WORCESTER – The UMass Board of Trustees today endorsed a decision to divest direct investments in fossil fuels from the University’s endowment. The Board of Directors of the UMass Foundation, a separate not-for-profit corporation that oversees an endowment valued at $770 million at the end of the last fiscal year, voted to divest last month. That action followed up on a previous decision to divest from direct holdings in coal. “We’re making a statement,” Board of Trustees Chairman Victor Woolridge said, referring to the divestment decision. “It’s about leading and being in the right position on this particular subject.” “But we’re not doing it to the detriment of the endowment,” Chairman Woolridge added. In addition to divesting direct investments in fossil fuels, UMass plans to boost funding for faculty sustainability/green technology research projects. UMass President Marty Meehan, who recommended that the University take these new steps, applauded the Board’s action. “We have made an important statement without jeopardizing the endowment, which, after all, is a significant source of funding for scholarships and research grants. We are the largest public university to go as far as we have gone, and we’re proud to be able to make that claim,” he said. Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073

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