Sign on to Faculty Letter of Support for Complaint
Letter of support to the Complaint:
As Harvard faculty members, we share the concerns of students and alumni about the ways
that the Harvard Corporation has invested and continues to invest a portion of its
endowment in industries whose actions are so often detrimental to our world’s natural and
human environment, namely, the fossil fuel industry. Science based evidence has amply
demonstrated the necessity and urgency to turn away from such industries, industries that
often have consciously misinformed and misled the public and undercut science. Financial
prudence, too, requires avoiding risky and less and less profitable investments.
Nine years of campaigning, petitioning, and engaging with the Harvard administration have
achieved only a distant commitment to decarbonize the portfolio by 2050, timid compared
with the investment decisions of many other institutions, most recently Rutgers, the
Rockefeller Foundation (The Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced divestment some time
ago), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The urgency of climate change today
requires a much stronger response.
By continuing investments in fossil fuel companies, the Corporation may be violating
Massachusetts law governing the management of non-profit, charitable institutions,
particularly its Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA).
Investing in the fossil fuel industry contradicts our mission as scholars and teachers and
endangers the future of the university.
This is why we support the complaint against the Harvard Corporation, which through its
investments as well as its other actions, should fulfill its duties and responsibilities as the
fiduciary of a non-profit, charitable, and educational institution.
Janet Beizer, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
Sidney Chalhoub, David and Peggy Rockefeller Professor of History and of African and African American Studies
Joyce Chaplin, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History
James Engell, Gurney Professor of English Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature
Virginie Greene, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
Edward Hall, Norman E. Vuilleumier Professor of Philosophy
Alice Jardine, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality
Jim Recht, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Alexander Rehding, Fanny Peabody Professor of Music
Caren Solomon, Associate Professor of Medicine
Richard Thomas, George Martin Lane Professor of the Classics
Nicholas Watson, Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature
Harvard Faculty Title:
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Harvard Business School
Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Harvard Divinity School
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Medical School
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
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