Georgetown erases FAQs about ethical investing from Investment Office website

Georgetown University has deleted two passages from its Investment Office’s “Frequently Asked Questions” page that explained how social responsibility and Georgetown’s Jesuit identity impacts its investment decisions.

The move may have been a result of discussions between members of Georgetown’s Investment Office and students from Georgetown, Divest!, the group that is pressuring Georgetown to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli presence in Palestine and human rights abuses in the region.

Vox is still working to determine whether or not the deletion was a result of their Friday meeting, where members of Divest! cited the two questions and answers as reasons to take their demands seriously. However, in that meeting, according to their press release, Senior Vice President for Strategic Development Daniel Porterfield “described this language as outdated and not in line with how the University‚Äôs processes function today.”

Here is the deleted text:

What is Georgetown’s policy with regard to socially responsible investing?

Georgetown is strongly committed to investing in a socially responsible manner. To that end, the university Faculty Senate appoints members to the Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility, which is charged with reviewing all shareholder proposals on social responsibility. The Committee is comprised of ten people who form a broad representation of the university community, including members of the faculty, staff, student body, and Office of Campus Ministry.

How does Georgetown’s Jesuit identity impact its investment decisions?

The Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility, which includes one representative from the Office of Campus Ministry, takes Georgetown’s Jesuit identity into account when making decisions regarding shareholder proposals. Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the university’s Jesuit heritage is its firm belief in the importance of the freedom of intellectual thought and diversity of opinion.”

You can view an HTML copy made of the page by Georgetown, Divest! on April 9, the day of the meeting, here.

5 Comments on “Georgetown erases FAQs about ethical investing from Investment Office website

  1. It’s funny how Georgetown adheres to its Catholic identity when it’s easy (birth control policy), but doesn’t apply the same rigorous standards when there’s money at stake. Exactly what’s the point of being a Jesuit university if that identity is thrown away and its core values erased (quite literally in this instance) when the going gets tough and hard decisions have to be made? Shame on Georgetown for failing to live up to its ideals of social justice and the protection of human rights. I expect more out of this university.

  2. As an alum of Georgetown, it is instances like this that make me not want to give back to the University. How will I know that money I contribute is invested ethically and will not be used to fund human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and other areas around the world?

  3. “Shame” and “Alum” both miss the point: is this good for the Catholic Church? By investing in companies with the highest return and raising funds, one of the nation’s most prominent Catholic institutions will be able to raise its profile. Institutionally protecting child rapists, profiting from human rights violations… using people as a means to the end of advancing the Church: it’s Catholicism for the 21st Century!

  4. Pingback: Georgetown erases FAQs about ethical investing from Investment Office website « U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

  5. I cannot believe this is true, this is unbelievable. At Georgetown they preach of having the highest ethics in everything this great University does. This is a huge X on the reputation of MY university. I will no longer give any money to Georgetown until it begins divesting from companies that participate in un-ethical or QUASI un-ethical practices.

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