Administration’s “misinformed” response to divestment raises more questions than answers
The administration’s response to the fossil fuel divestment proposal ("1.4% of College's endowment invested in fossil fuels") raised far more questions than it answered. Unfortunately, it also publically confirmed that Bowdoin’s official strategy is to maintain investment policies with no regard for environmental issues, while promoting its environmental achievements to alumni, students and grant agencies. Why do I care? During the recession I began speaking with the Development Office about the possibility of coordinating a family gift to the endowment to support the College’s environmental programs. My wife and I both went to Bowdoin, and as members of her family have attended Bowdoin for at least five continuous generations, I felt there was significant support for such a family gift. However, I also wanted at least some confirmation, however modest, that our funds would be invested in keeping with the College’s Environmental Mission Statement. After several months of waiting, I received only the short reply that “the Bowdoin College Endowment is Invested Responsibly.” I asked for examples, policies or data to support this assertion and none were provided. At that point, we discontinued our discussion of a family gift. So what’s wrong with the statement from President Mills and Paula Volent, senior vice president for investments, provided to the Orient?