VOX CLAMANTIS: Investing in Truth

by John Carey | 2/11/10 11:00pm

The article "Budget splits student response," Feb. 10, closes by noting a call from Students Stand with Staff co-founder Eric Schildge '10 for "the administration to strengthen the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility in order to establish broad investment goals for the endowment without giving students absolute oversight." Another article paraphrases Schildge as characterizing ACIR as "student-run" and demanding that the committee "receive power to influence investment priorities" on the rationale that losses in the endowment are a result of poor investment decisions, and that a more prominent role for ACIR could remedy this problem ("Panel cautions against layoffs," Feb. 2).

Both these statements misrepresent what ACIR is and what it does. First, ACIR is not a student-run organization. It is chaired by a faculty member and comprised of members of the Dartmouth community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni. Second, ACIR does not develop financial strategies or make investment decisions for the College's endowment. ACIR's primary mission is to review and make recommendations on shareholder-initiated proxy resolutions filed at publicly held companies in which the College directly owns shares.

We hope Dartmouth's Investment Office is able to manage the endowment to ensure the College's future prosperity. But we emphasize that ACIR does not seek any role along these lines, nor is the committee set up to play one.