Chapter 6: Divestment
* Occupation of Cole Science Center, 1977
* Occupation of Cole Science Center, 1982
* Divestment (for the Faculty Meeting), 1983
* Hampshire College Report on Socially Responsible Investment, 1983
Occupation of Cole Science Center, April 1977
Trustees Delay Divestiture of South Africa Holdings. Letters Question Administration Credibility. By Joel Saxe. Climax Special Issue, Apr. 21, 1977.
In response to requests that the College sell its investments in corporations which operate in South Africa, the Board of Trustees delayed making a final decision until its next meeting in June. The Trustees have deferred taking action because they believe the College shouldn't deal with such issues on a case by case basis. Instead they believe that the College should first set up an overall policy on corporate investment that would take into consideration moral and ethical factors.
The Hampshire College Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa (HCCLSA), which has led the student campaign for divestiture, is concerned that President Longsworth and Trustee Leonard Marks, both of whom spoke in favor of setting up an investment policy, are not sincere in their statements. The Committee's feeling is based on its possession of two letters exchanged by Longsworth and Marks in March, 1975 in which they express opposition to the establishment of investment guidelines...
President Longsworth expressed concern that it was not the responsibility of the College to deal with political issues. These matters, he said, should not be considered on an individual basis. He then proposed that the Investments Subcommittee develop moral and ethical guidelines for investments.
Two years ago it was proposed to the Finance Committee that the same type of guidelines be established. Faculty Trustee Bob von der Lippe asked why there had been no action taken since then. Neither Longsworth nor anyone else on the Finance Committee seemed to know what became of the proposal.
Pointing out the large amount of community support for the HCCLSA demands, Faculty Finance Comm. member Lynn Miller urged their immediate adoption.
The Finance Committee resolved the matter by directing the Investments Subcommittee to develop guidelines for consideration at the next trustee meeting in June. A decision on the divestiture demands will be made then also...
Members of the anti-apartheid group question the necessity of setting up guidelines as a prerequisite to divesture. After the meeting, HCCLSA member Molly Ornati pointed out, "The issue is as clear now as it will ever be. Would guidelines make their decision on divestiture any different?"...(p.1)
HCCLSA member Douglas MacIntire commented, "Two years ago Longsworth and Marks strongly opposed investment guidelines. Today they say they support such guidelines but they want to wait until June, when students aren't around to make a decision. We would like to believe that they have changed their minds on the issue, but we won't let their bureaucratic maneuvers strangle our requests."
HCCLSA is calling for the College to make a decision before the semester is over...(p.2)
Statement by the Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa. Apr. 1977.
The Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa is holding an occupation of the first floor of Cole Science Center, the administrative offices of Hampshire College. We have exhausted all the established channels within the system in our divestiture campaign, and we feel it necessary that as serious an act as occupation be taken.
Our demands are:
1. That the college immediately sell its stocks in corporations that have holdings in South Africa - Texaco, Exxon, International Harvester and Clark Equipment.
2. That a press conference be held where the college should take a stand against the South African regime and U.S. corporate involvement in South Africa. The HCCLSA should be allowed to make a statement at this press conference.
3. That a general investment policy be set up with moral and political guidelines. These guidelines will be subject to approval by a community referendum.
4. That no punitive action be taken against all of the participants of this occupation/demonstration.
This past semester the HCCLSA has worked towards educating the community about South Africa. We launched a campaign to get the college to divest its stocks in corporations that operate in South Africa. We gained the support of Community Council and Climax and a petition was signed by the majority of the community.
At the March meeting of the Board of Trustees we presented the petition and requested that they take action on the issue. We have strong indications that in June, when the students are not here, the Trustees will not deal with the issue sincerely and that the stocks will not be sold. The basis for these feelings are the two letters published in Climax, past actions of the Board, and most important, conversations with Board members. Therefore, we feel that it is very important that with community support we take this action and convince the administration and Board to act immediately.
Statement by the Public Relations Office, Apr. 1977.
The Trustees have decided to sell all common shares they control. Since the college has no policy by which it can control the financial, moral, social and political considerations necessary in purchasing stock, the Trustees have directed the administration to provide guidelines after which it will again make investments. The stocks to be sold include Exxon, Clarke and International Harvester, three considered reprehensible by the students because of the corporations' involvement in South Africa. The students vacated the building following disclosure of these decisions.
Occupation of Cole Science Center, May 1982
May 17, 1982
To: Faculty, Students, and Staff
From: Adele Simmons
Subject: Investments Policy
As you know, the critical issues of the buildup of nuclear weapons and the risk of war were brought before the Board of Trustees during the past weekend. The ensuing discussions were the latest in a series focusing on the college's position on investments.
Action on these matters began this winter with the formulation of a proposal that Hampshire sell stocks it owns in firms among the 75 largest weapons-producing contractors and to cease to purchase stock in these 75 in the future, and that the college reinvest such funds in corporations that produce socially and economically useful goods and services.
This proposal was approved by the Committee on Investment Responsibility (CHOIR) in March, and was brought before the finance committee of the board of trustees last Friday, May 14. The finance committee did not approve the proposal, but it did unanimously approve a joint recommendation by CHOIR and the investments subcommittee of the finance committee that a task force be set up "to examine, in consultation with members of the Hampshire College community, the investments procedure and criteria of the college so as to place greater emphasis on socially responsible investments."
This recommendation was brought to the full board on Saturday, May 15. No motions were made, and no votes were taken, but the trustees specifically:
* supported the development of an academic program in peace studies among the Five Colleges,
* urged that the president continue to bring the issue to the attention of the higher education community,
* recognized with appreciation the initiative of Hampshire students and faculty in pressing consideration of the issue and urged that it remain on the agenda of the college,
* asked the administration to move quickly to organize a task force as recommended by the finance committee to explore criteria and procedures that place greater emphasis on socially responsible investments.
As a result, the secretary of the board of trustees will meet with the on-campus members of CHOIR on Tuesday, May 18, to begin the work of the task force. Trustee Vanessa Gamble, chair of CHOIR, will also chair the task force. Kurtiss Gordon, faculty member of the finance committee, will serve as vice-chairman. The board asked that a progress report be delivered to the executive committee at its September 1982 meeting.
The board's position insures that a significant dialogue will take place, and that the college will work toward a socially responsible investments policy. Students and faculty succeeded in persuading the board that an alternative policy should be pursued promptly. The development of such a policy would, I expect, reflect the board's commitment to world peace. The board recognizes that its current position was made possible by the many hours of both research and discussion on the part of members of the Hampshire College community.
I am hopeful that immediate action by the new task force will help resolve remaining differences and continue a positive and productive dialogue.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 1982
Contact: Inside Occupation
(413) 549-4600 x229
HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE STUDENTS OCCUPY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING OVER ARMS RACE
(Amherst, MA) Early Monday morning, over 30 Hampshire students occupied the main administration building in protest of the college's continuing investment in major American weapons producers. The group of students, calling themselves Students for a Responsible Institution, decided on the action after the Finance Committee of the Hampshire Board of Trustees voted Friday to reject the students' proposed resolution. The proposal, which called for the college to divest its holdings in major weapons producing corporations, was passed three months ago by the Trustee sub-committee on investment responsibility, which determined that these corporations caused social injury as defined in the Hampshire guidelines. This is the first time that students on a college campus have occupied a building over the issue of an institution's responsibility towards ending the arms race.
Over 80% of the faculty and a comparable percentage of Hampshire students signed a petition endorsing the resolution. "It is an outrage," said one student, "that our Board of Trustees can so blatantly disregard the sentiments of our community." Said another, "What we are trying to do is to challenge the myth of the neutral institution. Hampshire's investments in these corporations implies our approval of the escalating arms race." In their statement, the students criticized the financial priorities of the college, and connected the college's investments in militarism with its continuing refusal to address the needs of women and Third World students on campus. The student group also linked increased military spending with cutbacks in financial aid.
The Hampshire College community has repeatedly demonstrated its position on the arms race. Last spring, the community voted 934-21 in favor of the nuclear weapons freeze proposal, and this fall it sponsored an inter-collegiate conference on the nuclear weapons freeze. In summary, one student stated, "It is not enough to make a verbal statement of support and be unwilling to take the necessary risks. We do not accept the verdict of our trustees; that to ensure Hampshire's existence we must continue to support the corporations which threaten the existence of the planet."
1. That Hampshire College divest all holdings in weapons producing corporations among the top 100 defense contractors.
2. That the College create a task force to establish guidelines for socially responsible investment...
3. The Administration must draft and release a press statement addressing the connections between militarization, increased military spending and cuts in financial aid and other social services. This must include an explanation of the College's strategies for addressing these cuts, through an open forum with students to take place within seven days.
4. The College must make a commitment to a feminist, anti-racist agenda. We believe that this should include support services and a feminist, anti-racist curriculum. We further demand that the College affirm its commitment to outreach and opportunity for Third World faculty and students, through admissions and hiring policies.
5. An increased awareness of environmental issues must be reflected in the curriculum of the College.
6. a) Staff and workers (i.e., secretaries, maintenance personnel, student staff) will not be penalized for work missed due to the occupation (i.e. no docked pay).
b) No Hampshire College students will be penalized for missing academic deadlines because of the closing of offices during the occupation. All attempts will be made to keep the Central Records office open and functioning. If this becomes impossible, deadlines involving the Central Records office must be extended.
7. The administration must not take any disciplinary action against the students involved in the occupation, nor against their supporters.
8. The Alternative Learning Program is an innovative alternative to traditional secondary schooling for special needs students which has been educating on the Hampshire campus for the last four years. Space has not been allocated to the A.L.P. for next year. We demand that the administration find an on-campus space for the A.L.P.
9. Alternative forms of administration must be explored by students and the present Administration, such that there is more accountability on the part of the Board of Trustees to the students.
To: Students Occupying the First Floor of Cole Science Center
From: Adele Simmons
Date: May 20, 1982
Together with Penina Glazer and Mike Ford, I will meet today with representatives of those occupying the first floor of the Cole Science Center. As a community we have far to go in bringing our personal and institutional lives into harmony with our shared values. Through the curriculum, admissions, the administration of the college, and in our relations with one another, we are renewing our commitment to the eradication of racism and sexism, and we are perfectly willing to make a commitment public. The college will pursue with determination the financial aid resources necessary to enhance the diversity of the student population.
The dangerous buildup of arms in today's world distresses us all deeply. This issue deserves continuing discussion and attention. I support the suggestion that it be the principal theme of fall orientation week and that it be given the highest priority in other settings at the college. We are committed to addressing this urgent matter further by fully supporting the work of the task force on socially responsible investment policy. If with community help and trustee participation the task force can develop guidelines that place greater emphasis on investment congenial to Hampshire's values and mission, one that accomodates the legal and other considerations under which the board must operate, very significant progress will have been made. I am personally committed to advancing this work, and I see it as an opportunity for Hampshire to exercise leadership in the higher education community.
The customs and bylaws of the board allow for student and faculty participation in its deliberations. Still, the trustees have frequently asked the administration to facilitate closer communication with the on-campus community. The chairman of the board has assured me that he and several other members will meet with a delegation of students on a mutually convenient day for unhurried exploration of the concerns that you have raised.
I am willing to meet today to begin to fashion a college-wide agenda for further discussion and action on these matters and to participate in meetings beginning tomorrow on individual agenda items.
I have asked Mike Ford to discuss with you appropriate institutional responses to the occupation and the ways in which your responsibilities and ours can be discharged in its aftermath.
To: Hampshire College Community
Date: May 21, 1982
Subject: Outcome of negotiations between Students for a Responsible Institution and Hampshire College Administration, May 20, 1982.
These are the results of good faith negotiations between representatives of the Students for a Responsible Institution and Adele Simmons, Michael Ford, and Penina Glazer.
I. Financial Aid
A. We agree that a communique will be sent to all students in the first week of school, September 1982, as part of Orientation Week. This communique will articulate the connections between militarization and the increase in military spending being pursued by the Reagan Administration, and the cuts in financial aid and other social services. It will also reaffirm Hampshire's commitment to a truly progressive financial aid program which would serve a heterogeneous student body. This communique will be issued in conjunction with a press statement describing Hampshire's commitment to these goals.
B. We agree that grant money should be a top priority of the development office. Hampshire College is committed to replacing aid that may be lost through federal policy and will make every effort to continue to do so.
C. We agree that an all-campus meeting will be held in September 1982 which will include Adele Simmons, Kathy Methot, Jerry Patrick, Bob de Veer. This meeting will address the following agenda.
1. The level of Hampshire's commitment to a truly progressive financial aid program.
2. The internal economic priorities of the College.
3. The College's work study program.
II. Anti-Racist Agenda
A. We agree that we have been unsuccessful in developing a multi-cultural faculty in all four Schools. We need to reconsider new strategies to improve our efforts in this area. The Senate will review the Holmquist report on racism and update the report, and make recommendations for the continuing effort to eliminate racism at Hampshire.
III. Feminist Agenda
A. The administration recognizes that Daycare, the Women's Center, and the Counselor Advocate Program are important to the goals of the community, and will work to help the development and maintenance of these programs.
B. Hampshire College will reaffirm its commitment to a strong affirmative action program.
C. The administration will support the efforts of the four Schools to continue their efforts to hire feminist faculty, develop a Feminist Studies program, and integrate feminist analysis into all areas of the curriculum.
D. The Community Council and the College Senate will form a task force composed of two students, two faculty members, and one administrator to work towards eliminating heterosexism (the oppression of people according to their sexual preference) and homophobia at Hampshire. This task force will examine the hiring process as well as the quality of social and academic life at Hampshire.
IV. Alternative Learning Program
A. We agree that ALP is a valuable program and a valuable resource to the Hampshire community. Because of ALP's requirements, the program cannot operate in a residential unit. Although Hampshire College must give the highest priority to its own academic program, we affirm that, after meeting the needs of Hampshire's program, the Alternative Learning Program will be given the highest priority in regard to classroom space.
V. Orientation Week
A. We agree that Orientation Week of September 1982 will focus on the subject of global militarization. Activities and programs will make the connections among sexism, racism, classism, and militarism. These programs will also address the impact of militarism on education and other social institutions.
B. We agree to create a position for a student employee to work with Michael Ford to plan and organize Orientation Week programs. This position will be part-time in the summer of 1982. We will allocate $500 to fund this student position.
Divestment (For the Faculty Meeting), 1983
SPECIAL FACULTY MEETING
Amherst, MA 01002
April 5, 1983
The meeting was called to order at 3:35 p.m.
At President Simmons' request, Jim Matlack gave a resume of the chronology of the Hampshire Investment Policy with regard to social issues over the past five years.
It was moved, seconded and approved that students Michael Current and Debby Knight from the CHOIR Task Force be invited to join the meeting. (Later in the meeting, student Julia Friend's attendance was approved by a hand vote.)
President Simmons gave a synopsis of the diversity of viewpoints of the Board of Trustees at the March meeting.
Allan Krass reported on his history with CHOIR since Spring 1982 and praised the work done by the CHOIR Task Force.
In the general discussion, the major points that were made were:
1. It is important that those who represent the College report the vote of the Board of Trustees and express it in a positive way.
2. There was recognition of the need to balance the views of the faculty and other sections of the community with the needs of the College to deal with corporations, foundations and private donors.
3. Questions were raised about the danger to fundraising and other efforts to attract support for the College from making an explicit public statement and action on divestment.
It was moved, seconded and approved, with two abstentions, that the Resolution be passed as presented.
In Spring 1982, a very substantial majority of Hampshire faculty signed a campus-wide petition calling for College divestment from weapons manufacturers.
We now note with disappointment the failure of the Hampshire Trustees to endorse the majority of the proposals for divestment which the Trustee-appointed Divestment Task Force, closely linked to CHOIR, brought to them in March '83.
1. We want to register publicly that the measure voted through, amended so as to involve non-investment in corporations manufacturing nuclear warheads, does have a significant symbolic importance as a oppositional measure to the arms race. As such, it is an encouraging step towards extending the nuclear disarmament and peace movement politics into the political process of divestment. At the same time it is important to recognize that this measure, in concrete terms, involves Hampshire College in no actual divestments.
2. We want to register publicly our regret that the Trustees rejected more far-reaching measures of divestment from all corporations involved in nuclear-related arms manufacture and from the principal arms producing corporations.
3. We acknowledge that the political momentum, initiatives, and research throughout the whole attempt at confronting the College's partial dependence on investments which sustain the production and potential deployment of nuclear weapons, came from students at the College. They have initiated, negotiated and fought an important political struggle in the process of challenging the nuclear arms race. We support them in this continuing political struggle.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
The Hampshire College Report on Socially Responsible Investment
Ed. by Doug Tooley, April 1983.
In 1976, Hampshire College bacame the first school in the country to divest from companies in South Africa. This opened the door for us to a much larger idea, that of using investments to reflect our ethics instead of those of the capitalistic ideology.
In the seven years since then, we have been exploring the potential of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). In October of 1982, we became the first school to pass a comprehensive SRI policy and in March of 1983, we included a clause barring future investments in companies manufacturing nuclear warheads.
Although we have led the way, it has not been easy. Our Board of Trustees and President have challenged us again and again to show the feasibility and the appropriateness of SRI. Instead of becoming angry, we responded to these challenges in a responsible and intelligent manner. What lies in your hands is the result of this.
Some twenty people have contributed toward this publication directly. But in front of us lies the real challenge--can we make it work? (p.1)
Some Philosophical Questions, by Kurtiss Gordon.
Why have a socially responsible investment policy?
Particularly in the U.S., money has great symbolic value (in addition to its intrinsic practical value). The society pays attention to what people and institutions do with their money, and read into decisions involving money a great deal about the character and values of the decision makers.
Given this symbolic importance, we believe that if the College is going to pay attention to social values in any of its policies, it is entirely consistent and proper for the same values to be reflected in its investment policy. In fact, to have contrasting social values embodied in policies governing different aspects of the College would indicate a kind of institutional schizophrenia. For example, one might argue, if the College is an equal opportunity employer, wouldn't it be hypocritical to invest the College's funds in a firm which is known not to be?
However if the institution works to change the corporation it is involved in, the issue of schizophrenia becomes blurry. Certainly the amount of positive change that could be affected is much greater. But to do this requires a large body of cooperating institutions and individuals to pass shareholder resolutions... (p.5)
Why at a liberal arts college, and why with student involvement?
It is a major goal of liberal arts education to develop in students (1) engagement and leadership in the community, (2) inquiring minds capable of analyzing and evaluating statements or arguments in all areas, and (3) moral and ethical values for their lives...(p.7)
Should a school put some funds into alternative or non-traditional holdings?
A few members of the community recommended that Hampshire put all its money into solar energy or local co-ops or food production. Such narrowing of the endowment would violate "prudent investor" requirements for diversity and reasonable assurance of overall rates of return. More suggestions were made that the College put a fraction of its endowment into a separate fund for special purposes, usually higher risk projects or activities with very explicit intended social benefits (e.g., low income housing). The most inclusive of these proposals recommended that Hampshire start its own mutual fund...
While this general approach does appeal to us in principle, it has a serious practical drawback. The overhead involved in managing this special fund would undoubtably be large enough that, for an endowment of limited size the effective rate of return from these investments would be severely compromised...
How public should the investment policy be?
There are different schools of thought about how a new investment policy be publicly announced. Representing one point of view was an alumnus who responded to our questionnaire, "The quieter we go about formulating this policy, the more restrictive we can be. Since no one really cares what little Hampshire College thinks, we can probably have cleaner hands and cleaner investments by keeping these guidelines internal."
Yet this strongly conflicts with the notion of making a political statement as the College did in the case of South Africa. In that case, by taking a symbolic action in an area of growing concern, the college helped to clear the path for other institutions. Despite the fact that Hampshire was quite reticent over its South African divestment (there was not even a press release), it is likely that most members of the community would want to announce the policy publicly rather than keeping it secret.
The major danger of going public is the possibility of alienating the outside community by appearing to assume a "holier than thou" attitude. It would seem appropriate, therefore, to make some modest public statement, but shy away from stridency. It would also seem appropriate to make this report, and any other results of the research of the Task Force, available to other colleges and universities trying to develop their own policies on socially responsible investment. (p.11-12)
HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE INVESTMENT POLICY
The Trustees of Hampshire College recognize their own responsibility and the concern of the College community for the moral and social implications of the management of the College's investments. They also recognize that their primary investment objective is to optimize financial return to the College. Hampshire College will not knowingly make investments which support activities whose impact is contrary to fundamental moral and ethical principles. The purpose of these gudelines is to establish criteria in addition to economic return which the Trustees will consider when making investment decisions and when exercising their rights as shareholders. This statement also provides for procedures for forwarding these concerns to the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees and to the full Board itself... (p.1)
III. Guidelines for Investment Responsibility
A. For the purpose of these guidelines, social injury will be interpreted to mean: the injurious impact which the activities of a company are found to have on consumers, employees, or other persons, or the environment, particularly including activities which violate or frustrate the enforcement of rules of domestic or international law intended to protect individuals against deprivation of health, safety, or basic freedom.
B. The Trustees' primary investment objective is to seek a prudent financial return in line with the College's objectives. This policy does not preclude the Trustees from determining, from time to time, that investments in certain companies or industries, may be undesirable no matter how attractive the potential return.
C. Criteria for Social Benefit and Social Injury
1. Hampshire College does not wish to profit from, nor appear to support or endorse by holding equity securities in, corporations which cause social injury.
Therefore the Investment Committee is directed to instruct the College's investment managers that, subject to any necessary donor restrictions and within the College's guidelines for maximizing expected return at a prudent level of risk, they should:
2. FAVOR equity holdings in corporations which are good corporate citizens, including more specifically corporations which emphasize one or more of the following characteristics ---
* provide beneficial goods and services such as food, clothing, housing, health, education, transportation, and safe energy; pursue energetic research and development programs that hold promise for new products of social benefit and for increased employment prospects;
* maintain fair labor practices including exemplary management policies in such areas as affirmative action and worker participation;
* maintain a safe and healthy work environment including full disclosure to workers of potential work hazards;
* demonstrate exemplary treatment of minorities and women;
* firms that, in relation to environmental protection, are known to be innovative with respect to policies, organizational structures, and/or product development; firms that give evidence of superior performance with respect to waste utilization and pollution control should also be favored;
* are seen to strengthen local and regional as well as the national economies;
* have a record of sustained support for higher education.
3. AVOID investing in or holding equities of corporations which cause social injury, more particularly those corporations which ---
* have operations in South Africa;
* engage in the production or sale of components and technologies for nuclear warheads;
* engage in the production and/or export of sensitive nuclear and military technologies which contribute to the proliferation of weapons in violation of restrictions embodied in United States laws or governmental regulations or in arms limitation treaties to which the United States is a party;
* directly contribute to the production of biological weapons or to research and development associated with such weapons;
* operate in countries engaged in serious human rights violations and function to perpetuate, promote, and finance these conditions, as identified through a factual case by CHOIR;
* actively pursue unfair and degrading labor practices;
* maintain practices which discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual preference, race, color, national or ethnic origin, or handicap;
* engage in substantially harmful, irresponsible environmental practices;
* manufacture and/or market products which in normal use are unsafe or impure or sell products outside the United States which competent U.S. governmental authorities have prohibited from sale or distribution on the grounds that such products are harmful;
* have markedly inferior records with respect to occupational health and safety;
* repeatedly refuse to cooperate with responsible requests from the public for information regarding their performance in relation to any of the above listed issues of concern...(p.3-5)
Adopted: October 7, 1977
Revised: March 9, 1979 (III. C. 3. a.)
Revised: March 12, 1983