Statement on Investment and Social Responsibility Issues

Statement on Investment and Social Responsibility Issues

The primary purpose of the endowment and other investment pools is to support Dartmouth's mission in preparing students for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge. The values inherent in Dartmouth's mission are academic excellence and independence of thought within a culture of collaboration. Dartmouth supports vigorous open debate of ideas within a community marked by mutual respect, as well as a culture of integrity, self-reliance, collegiality and a sense of responsibility for each other and for the broader world. The use and management of Dartmouth's resources are to advance this mission and these values.

Dartmouth's endowment represents funds donated to Dartmouth which have been invested and stewarded over the years to support current students and faculty as well as future generations of students and scholars. The primary investment objective of the endowment is to generate long-term, inflation-adjusted investment returns in excess of the annual distribution to preserve intergenerational equity for the institution. Dartmouth's position regarding its investment assets is to maintain a flexible investment mandate to maximize the earning power of these resources.

In some circumstances, there may be material social, environmental or governance related factors to consider regarding Dartmouth's investments. The Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR) is comprised of members of the Dartmouth community including students, faculty, alumni and staff, and was formed by the President's Office to study and make voting recommendations for Dartmouth regarding social issues on proxy ballots for shares of publicly held companies. The ACIR also offers a forum for the Dartmouth community to present socially driven investment concerns while recognizing the need for Dartmouth to continue to maximize investment returns in support of its mission. In cases of broader socially-driven investment matters, the Advisory Committee may be engaged for an initial review of the issue and may make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees if the President determines that action is warranted. Dartmouth's Board ultimately has sole responsibility for all investment matters, including determination of socially-driven investment issues that arise as a result of Dartmouth's investments.

In extraordinary circumstances, the Board of Trustees may consider divestment an appropriate response to social, environmental or governance-related considerations related to investments in particular companies.

The following criteria will be important considerations when the Board considers divestment decisions:

  • A company's actions or inactions are clearly inconsistent with Dartmouth's history, its values, or mission.
  • All practicable shareholder rights have been exhausted in seeking to modify the company's behavior, or it has been determined that pursuing such rights would likely be futile; and, the company has been afforded the maximum reasonable opportunity to alter its behavior and failed to do so in a manner that materially reduces such injury.
  • Divestment will make a material impact on correcting the company's injurious behavior.
  • Divestment will not compromise Dartmouth's ability to address the target issue through its academic work and other channels.

Read the ​Statement on Investment and Social Responsibility Issues (pdf).

Adopted September 22, 2013, Amended March 20, 2017.