To the Editor,
This statement is in response to the petition by Fossil Free SCU.
In recent weeks students and other signatories of the petition by Fossil Free SCU have been active in urging Santa Clara to divest and freeze investment in fossil-fuel extraction companies. This is an issue that has also made headlines across the country as other universities have staked out a variety of positions – both for and against divestment – on this highly complex issue.
As a university, we appreciate the concerns expressed by Fossil Free SCU about the detrimental effects of climate change. There is a need for a variety of energy solutions to lead the country and the world toward greater sustainability, in the interconnected realms of ecology, economics, politics and culture.
Given the immense complexity of matters of the university endowment and its holdings in companies with direct or indirect influence on climate change, the office of President Michael Engh, S.J., has assigned the study and response of this issue to the University Investment Office, led by Chief Investment Officer John Kerrigan.
Under Kerrigan’s direction, the following steps have been taken. Kerrigan has met twice with representatives of Fossil Free SCU. The matter was put on the May 15 agenda of the 11-member Investment Committee of the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees. The Investment Committee decided that, pursuant to the university’s investment policy, the matter be brought to the four-member Socially Responsible Investment subcommittee. That subcommittee will soon reach out to arrange a meeting with representatives of the students from Fossil Free SCU to hear out their concerns and consider the array of possible responses.
We thank the students and others who have raised the issue, and look forward to a fruitful dialogue from which we all will emerge better educated and focused on our shared values.
Office of Marketing and Communications