Bringing a Concern to the Resources Committee
Members of the Princeton Community interested in bringing an issue to the Committee are invited to contact the committee staff via email. (Please see Members for contact information.) Please review the committee guidelines when formulating your request for review of a particular issue.
While the fundamental goal of the University’s investment strategy is, and has been, “to maximize the total long-term return on investments…” in order to support the University’s core mission of teaching and research, the Resources Committee guidelines reflect the Trustees’ belief that it is appropriate to consider investment-driven social responsibility issues in certain circumstances.
The Committee's process for considering issues of socially responsible investment and other investment concerns is articulated in its guidelines. The Resources Committee must first determine if the issue is of significant importance to the University in terms of considerable and continuing campus interest. The Committee has some latitude in determining the depth and breadth of campus interest and will consider the base of support for a particular position, the length of time over which that support has been sustained, the ability to develop and sustain a broad consensus on a particular issue or action.
If the Committee determines there is sufficient campus interest in a particular issue, it must then determine whether there is a central University value at stake. The central purposes of the University are defined as the discovery of new knowledge through scholarship and research, the teaching and general development of students, and the transmission of knowledge and learning to society at large. The values inherent in the University's mission are the support of free inquiry and free expression within the academic community, and the freedom to teach and learn. All members of the community share responsibility for securing and sustaining the conditions conducive to these freedoms. As a community, we respect the dignity, individuality and freedom of each member. At the same, we value a sense of shared experience and common purpose. The use and management of University resources are to advance its educational mission.
Next, the committee must determine whether a consensus on how the University should respond can be reached. The response to such a concern must make a clear and explicit connection between the core values of the University and the specific issue. Furthermore, the University response proposed should be "genuinely affirmative, offer at least some possibility of constructive impact, consistent with the fundamental character of the University as in academic institution, and merit broad support through the University."
Individuals and groups bringing concerns to the Committee are asked to specifically address the guidelines: is the issue of significant importance to the University community in terms of considerable and sustained campus interest; is a central University value at stake; can a consensus be developed on a response; is there a clear and explicit connection between the core values of the University and the specific issue; is the proposed response affirmative, offering the opportunity for constructive impact consistent with the fundamental character of the University as an academic institution?
The Committee will consider fully-documented requests at its earliest possible opportunity. Those raising an issue may be invited to participate in a discussion with the Committee. The Committee reserves the right to undertake its own research and investigation. There is no specific timeline for reviewing and evaluating issues brought to the committee; each issue is considered separately and evaluated in the context of the guidelines. On average, the Committee considers an issue over the course of an academic year. The Committee will report annually, if not sooner, the outcome of any deliberation.