At the Mount Holyoke Faculty Meeting on May 4th, 92% of the faculty expressed support for divestment from fossil fuels.
This faculty vote is a key step towards securing a decision on fossil fuel divestment by the Mount Holyoke Board of Trustees. President Pasquerella tasked an ad hoc committee through Planning & Budget to discuss fossil fuel divestment thoroughly and present recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The committee presented a statement in favor of divestment at the Faculty Meeting and led a discussion on the pros and cons of supporting it before holding the vote.
The ad hoc committee consisted of three faculty members, two staff members, and one student. The statement they created is a pledge to gradually withdraw the endowment from fossil fuel investments as fossil free investment options become increasingly available. CJC supports this statement, although the student group has more specific goals to remove investments within the next five years. CJC also specifies immediately freezing new fossil fuel investments in the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies and reinvesting in sustainable alternatives to help transition away from fossil fuels. Below are the results from the faculty vote:
- 66% of the faculty support the committee’s statement.
- 23% of the faculty support the committee’s statement, but would prefer a stronger statement, along the lines of the CJC statement.
- 3% of the faculty support the stronger CJC statement and therefore do not support the committee’s statement.
- 8% of the faculty did not support the committee’s statement for a different reason.
The Planning & Budget Committee faculty members put forward the ad hoc committee statement to the Board of Trustees for review.