Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 79.39
Liaison Yolanda Cieters
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Seattle University
PA-9: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Yolanda Cieters
Associate Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a formally established and active committee on investor responsibility (CIR) or equivalent body?:

The charter or mission statement of the CIR or other body which reflects social and environmental concerns or a brief description of how the CIR is tasked to address social and environmental concerns:
In 2015, the University created the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Task Force as a way to explore options in which Seattle University could further its commitment to social responsibility in making investments consistent with its Investment Policy Statement. One of the recommendations adopted by the Board of Trustees was to establish a working group to engage with interested students, faculty and staff on relevant matters of social responsibility in investing and advise the Investment Committee on an ongoing basis.

PURPOSE: The permanent Socially Responsible Investment Working Group of the Investment Committee (Committee) serves as the liaison between the campus community and the Committee. It provides information and recommendations to the Committee on socially responsible investment issues that can be taken into account when making decisions on investments, policies and practices for Seattle University

CHARGE: The Working Group shall have no power or authority, other than to make recommendations to the Investment Committee. The Working Group will hear, review and make recommendations to the Committee on concerns of the campus community relating to socially responsible investments pertaining to the Endowment Fund. The Committee will look to the Working Group to provide input as to how the University can invest its resources in a way which is consistent with guidelines set forth in the Investment Policy Statement.
The Investment Policy Statement of the Investment Committee states:
Consistent with the University’s Jesuit Catholic values, the [Investment] Committee will consider the University’s commitment to ethics and social responsibility in making investment decisions. While the Committee remains committed to its fiduciary duty to the University’s long-term financial growth and sustainability, it also recognizes the value of non-traditional investment opportunities in providing a reasonable return as well as furthering the University’s mission and values.

ORGANIZATION AND MEMBERSHIP: The Committee will appoint one of its members to chair the Working Group. There should be representatives on the Working Group from the campus community, including faculty, staff and students who have a background or interest in social responsibility and ethics as applied to investment decisions. The Working Group will consist of no less than eight members, at least three of whom will be members of the Committee or the University’s Board of Trustees. Student members will be appointed by the Seattle University Student Government (SGSU) and the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Faculty will be appointed by the Academic Assembly. Administrative staff members and alumni members will be appointed by Seattle University’s President. The Chair of the Board of Trustees and the President shall be ex-officio voting members of the Working Group, but shall not be counted for the purpose of establishing a quorum.

Does the CIR include academic staff representation?:

Does the CIR include non-academic staff representation?:

Does the CIR include student representation?:

Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role:
•Jill Blackburn, Alumni Representative
•Joseph M. Gaffney, Board of Trustees and Investment Committee Representative (SRI Advisory Working Group Chair)
•Bob Grimm, S.J., Board of Trustees and Investment Committee Representative
•Wes Lauer, Ph.D., P.E., Faculty Representative - Associate Professor and Director of Environmental Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering
•Jason Malinowski, Investment Committee Representative - Chief Investment Officer, Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System
•Scott McClellan, Cabinet Representative - Vice President for University Affairs
•Jennifer Tilghman-Havens, Staff Representative - Director, Center for Jesuit Education
•Valentina Zamora, Ph.D., Faculty Representative - Associate Professor, Accounting
•Robert Dahlin, Undergraduate Student Representative
•Danielle Beaulieu, Graduate Student Representative

Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:
1. FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS ON FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT: The working group adopted the final recommendations on Fossil Fuel Divestment on January 10, 2018, and they were presented to the Board of Trustees for further deliberation and consideration on February 22, 2018. The Board approved the recommendations on September 13, 2018.
RECOMMENDATIONS: In the spirit of fulfilling our mission and wholeheartedly embracing our Jesuit values and education, the SRI Advisory Working Group unanimously makes the following two recommendations to the Seattle University Board of Trustees.
Recommendation One: The Board commits, by June 30, 2023, to fully divest the marketable portion of the endowment from any investments in companies owning fossil fuel reserves.
Recommendation Two: As a first step toward meeting the full divestment goal, the Board commits to achieving a 50 percent reduction in the exposure to companies owning fossil fuel reserves in the marketable portion of the endowment portfolio by December 31, 2020. The reduction would be based on the percentage exposure to these companies as of June 30, 2018.
See: https://www.seattleu.edu/finance-and-business-affairs/treasury-and-risk-management/sri/divestment/

In April 2020, Seattle University met its halfway point—nine months ahead of schedule—to divest its endowment portfolio of companies owning fossil fuel reserves.

Website URL where information about the institution’s committee on investor responsibility is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.