Ethical Investment Advisory Committee (“EIAC”)

Mission

The University has established an Ethical Investment Advisory Committee consisting of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and staff members, whose purpose is to identify areas of potential concern and investigate the consonance of the University’s investment policies and values. Where appropriate, it will make recommendations to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees regarding particular investments, communications and proxy votes.

EIAC Charter

Committee Members

Dan Apfel, Alumnus, Class of 2005
Karen Berger, Associate Professor of Instruction, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Lauren Caruso, Associate Director, Rochester Center for Community Engagement
Jake Conway, Investment Officer (Ex officio)
Katherine Gregory, Graduate student
Randall Curren, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy
Isabel Murphy, Undergraduate student, Class of 2022
Douglas Phillips, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer (Ex officio)
Henry Scharfe, Alumnus, Class of 2019
Randall Stone, Professor, Department of Political Science (Chair)

At its September 25, 2018 meeting, the Investment Committee approved the following EIAC recommendation about Corporate Social Responsibility Investing:

Corporate Social Responsibility in Investing (CSR) Policy

The University’s mission includes education, research, creative expression, and provision of healthcare. These activities are conducted according to a set of core values, which include freedom of expression, equality of persons, respect for cultural diversity, dissemination of knowledge in the public interest, fair labor standards, human rights, democratic governance and environmental sustainability. Our investment policy seeks to assure the consistency of our institutional support strategies with our core values.

The University invests along with our peer institutions with asset managers in long-term investment pools. We hold these managers accountable to uphold norms of corporate social responsibility. It is the University’s intention that our resources be invested in ways that are ethical, sustainable and consistent with all relevant US, foreign and international laws, as well as pertinent local ordinances and regulations. To this end, the University includes the following question in an annual questionnaire directed to our investment managers:

The Investment Office, in monitoring managers in relation to what are known as corporate socially responsible (CSR) investing practices, seeks to assure that holdings in the portfolio are consistent with our core values as an institution of higher education and adhere to applicable laws and regulations. These include CSR matters pertaining to the environment, fairness in employment, corporate governance, health matters, political engagement, etc. Please describe how your firm evaluates and considers CSR matters in your investment process and disclose any areas of concern that arose in portfolio holdings over the past year. If your firm has a CSR policy, please attach it to this response.

Ethical Investment Advisory Committee

The University has established an Ethical Investment Advisory Committee consisting of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and staff members, whose purpose is to identify areas of potential concern and investigate the consonance of our investment policies and values. Where appropriate, it will make recommendations to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees regarding particular investments, communications and proxy votes. The responses to the CSR questionnaire are compiled by the Investment Office and reviewed by the EIAC annually. Members of the University community are invited to contact the committee here.

Statement on Corporate Shareholder Responsibility

Transparency policy

The Office of Institutional Resources will respond to written inquiries from members of the University of Rochester community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) relating to specific investment holdings within the endowment. The University does not release a list of its investment holdings, but will acknowledge, upon written request, whether or not the University is the owner of a specific security. The Office of Institutional Resources will also submit to the Investment Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees, on a case-by-case basis, requests for action pertaining to specific securities.

At its May 15, 2019 meeting, the Investment Committee approved the following resolution about sustainable investing proposed by the EIAC:

“The University of Rochester pledges to make no direct investments in companies engaged in substantial production of thermal coal or oil from tar sands, with the understanding that the EIAC will revisit this pledge if the facts underlying this recommendation should change.”

In addition, on the recommendation of the EIAC, the University joined Climate Action 100+

Read the EIAC report accompanying its recommendation here: May 2019 EIAC Investment Committee report

At its May 13, 2020 meeting, the Investment Committee approved the following EIAC recommendation about non-investment in private prisons:

“The Ethical Investment Advisory Committee recommends that the University of Rochester Investment Committee adopt a policy of making no direct investments in any publicly-traded company that owns or operates private prisons, including CoreCivic and its subsidiaries, GEO Group, and G4S. Additionally, the Investment Office will notify the EIAC of any private prison equity holding that may appear in the portfolio, and it will notify its investment managers of this policy.”

Read the EIAC report accompanying its recommendation here: May 2020 EIAC Investment Committee report

Meeting Notes

March 8, 2018
March 21, 2018
April 11, 2018
April 25, 2018
October 1, 2018
October 25, 2018 Town Hall Meetings – Medical Center, River Campus
November 12, 2018
February 4, 2019
March 18, 2019
April 3, 2019
May 3, 2019
June 19, 2019
October 16, 2019
February 3, 2020
March 6, 2020
September 28, 2020
Town Hall Meeting – October 20, 2020
November 9, 2020

Contact the EIAC at: inquiry_eiac@ur.rochester.edu