Universities Around Country Reject Student Demands for Fossil Fuel Divestment

The Associated Press

University administrators are rejecting a series of demands from students over institutional investments in fossil fuels, according to a report from The College Fix.

Breitbart News reported on the efforts of a student activist group at Boston University who were demanding that alumni withhold donations until the University entirely divested its interest in companies that were involved in fossil fuel reserves.

“DivestBU asks alumni to withhold donations to Boston University until it divests from companies continuing to explore for fossil fuel reserves. We expect hits to the university’s rankings, reputation, and financial reserves to force the administration to pay attention to student voices, but are dismayed that this is what it takes,” the group wrote in a Facebook post.

Since then, administrations at a number of high profile universities have rejected student demands over fossil fuel investments. Administrators at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and the University of Denver have all recently rejected student efforts to move school funds away from the fossil fuel industry.

The Stanford University’s Board of Trustees and the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing declined to divest, telling student protesters that “the trustees do not believe that a credible case can be made for divesting from the fossil fuel industry until there are competitive and readily available alternatives.”

A unanimous decision by the Board of Trustees at the University of Pennsylvania stated that the concerns 0f the student protesters were not legitimate enough for divestment.

The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee concurred in what the Trustees consider to be the linchpin of any divestment decision at Penn: the interpretation of moral evil as an activity on par with apartheid or genocide. While the Trustees recognize that the “bar” of moral evil presents a rigorously high barrier of consideration, we are resolute in our belief that such a high barrier must be maintained so that investment decisions and the endowment are not used for the purpose of making public policy statements.

The Board of Trustees at the University of Denver wrote in a letter to the University community that divestment in fossil fuel companies would be an ineffective means of combating global warming and that it would harm the institution’s goals of providing an “enduring benefit” to present and future students.

“Divestment in fossil fuel companies, or any other industry,” the board wrote in a letter, “would not be an effective means of mitigating global warming nor would it be consistent with the endowment’s long-term purpose to provide enduring benefit to present and future students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.”

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at tciccotta@breitbart.com


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