REP co-founder Aaron Podolny had a great op-ed in yesterday's YDN laying out the basics of why responsible investing is an achievable goal for universities like Yale: it's common, it's profitable, and it makes a difference:

"In 1972, Yale demonstrated a commitment to responsible investing when it formed the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility — a group of students, alumni, faculty and staff responsible for overseeing the ethics of the Yale endowment. Unfortunately, while the practices of other responsible investors have evolved over the past four decades, Yale’s approach has not.

The ACIR cannot practice modern responsible investment because its tools are decades old. Most importantly, the committee can only review 1 percent of the Yale endowment — far too little to analyze its environmental and social impact and find opportunities for active ownership. Unsurprisingly, since the committee’s inception its major actions have all followed the antiquated model of divesting from “bad” companies rather than engaging with them to make real change. We can do better."

Read the rest here!

As I write this, we're waiting with bated breath to hear back from the ACIR tomorrow. Will they acknowledge that Yale's oversight structures are decades out of date? We'll see tomorrow.
So, exciting campaign update: after spending more than a year doing research on how to do real ethical oversight on the Yale endowment, we presented our plan to the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility. We'd spoken with the ACIR privately in the past, but we went to their public meeting on January 28 looking to secure their support. It went really well, and they said they will be ready with an answer by February 20. So now we are waiting for their reply with much eagerness and working to make sure that no matter what the ACIR does this week, we can keep pushing to have the best oversight possible.