Statement on TCU Senate Resolution regarding Divestment

April 10, 2017

Last night, the university’s undergraduate student government—the Tufts Community Union Senate (TCU)—passed a resolution calling on Tufts to divest from any investments in certain specified corporations doing business with the Israeli government and to adopt related changes in Tufts’ investment policies.

We have made clear in the past our opposition to calls to boycott Israeli academic institutions.  While members of our community vigorously debate international politics, Tufts University does not adopt institutional positions with respect to specific geo-political issues.

Any individual student or group of students can work with a member of the TCU Senate to have a resolution brought forward for consideration. We are concerned that the supporters of this resolution chose to place it on the Senate agenda immediately before Passover, a time when some students interested in this issue were away from campus, and opposed a motion by some members of the Senate to table the resolution in the interest of further understanding of its context and ramifications.

The issue of divestment was considered most recently in 2014 by the Board of Trustees, which is responsible for the university’s investment policies in accordance with the university’s bylaws.  At that time, a working group was charged with reviewing the possibility of divesting from fossil fuels; the Board accepted the recommendations of that working group that divestment was not compatible with the university’s current manner of investing.  The university does not directly hold shares in any individual companies and cannot dictate the investment policies of the commingled funds in which it is invested.

We recognize that the issues raised by this resolution are the subject of strongly held beliefs within the university community.  We are committed to both a robust exchange of ideas and a safe environment on campus.