The Good.

Some Yale investments have a positive or neutral impact on society. Unfortunately,—due to the almost complete lack of transparency—we don't know how much of the endowment these make up. Here is an example of an investment that seems to be in line with Yale's broader environmental and social values:

  1. KPCB - A venture capital firm that provided capital to many successful startups including Google and Invisalign. They currently also have a greentech initiative.

Who are we to judge?

Good question. We would prefer not to be in the position of judging which Yale investments are consistent with its values. We'd much rather leave that job to the Yale community through an elected ACIR. That's why we have included that as one of the changes we suggest in our proposal. Currently, members are appointed by the president of the university—a process that has generally yielded committees that are not representative of the whole Yale community. 

The Bad.

There have been a few investments over the years that have had a significant negative impact on the environment and society. These investments—and the Yale administration's reactions to them—demonstrate the need for the change presented in our proposal.

  1. South Africa and Sudan - In both cases Yale divested only after enormous student pressure. Commitments were very limited and little or no transparency was provided to ensure that divestment had occurred. Read more (South Africa)... Read more (Sudan)...
  2. Baca Ranch - A Yale owned partnership was attempting to drain and sell the contents of an aquifer under the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado. This action—which would have damaged this unique habitat—was blocked only after significant public outrage in the region. Read More...
  3. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) - A Yale money manager was found to be invested in CCA, a private prison company cited for numerous human rights abuses by Amnesty International. The ACIR took no action is this situation. Read More...