Monday, September 16, 2013

Harvard reiterates its presumption against divestment

In an e-mail message sent to Etopia News today by the Harvard Public Affairs & Communications office, the University has reiterated its “strong presumption” against divestment of its fossil fuel holdings.

This as the University community prepared for a demonstration at 5:30 pm EDT this afternoon outside Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard by Harvard Alumni for Divestment calling upon the University to sell off its stocks and other negotiable financial instruments implicated in the oil, coal, and gas industries.

In an e-mail from Kevin Galvin, Harvard’s Director of Public Affairs and Communications, the University’s position is explicitly spelled out, as well as the justification for its stand:

The University has traditionally maintained a strong presumption against divesting stock for reasons unrelated to investment purposes. Harvard is first and foremost an academic institution, and the endowment's primary purpose is to support the research and educational activities through which institutions of higher education make their distinctive contributions to society.”

Questions about the details of the University’s planned meeting with representatives of the alumni haven’t been forthcoming yet, but further efforts may avail.

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