News, University News

University to host forum on divestment committee

Vote on ACCRIP replacement to take place following community forum

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The University will host a community forum this fall to discuss the possibility of replacing the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies, which considers moral responsibility in the University’s investments, said James Morgan, Faculty Executive Committee chair and professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, at Tuesday’s faculty meeting.

The forum, which is not yet scheduled for a specific date, will follow a semester of heated discussions on campus over the University’s investment procedures. Last spring, undergraduate students passed a referendum asking for the University to divest from companies facilitating human rights abuses in Israel and Palestine. The referendum also called for greater transparency in the University’s investment procedures and ACCRIP’s evaluation of divestment.

The faculty held discussions about replacing ACCRIP this spring for a proposed new committee to be called the Advisory Committee on University Resource Management. Faculty were set to vote on the motion at a meeting in May, but the vote was postponed until the fall to allow more time for deliberation, The Herald previously reported.

The Brown University Community Council will hold a forum before the vote to “revisit these issues and to come to a new and improved version of ACCRIP,” Morgan said.

Some undergraduates have criticized the proposal for ACURM based on concerns about decreased student involvement in divestment decisions.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Provost Richard Locke P ’18 also addressed the recent work of the Committee on Equity and Integrity in Admissions, an ad hoc committee formed in April in response to national college admissions scandals.

The Committee on Equity and Integrity in Admissions held several meetings this summer to discuss possible safeguards for the integrity of the University’s admissions process, Locke said. The committee’s meetings included mapping the admissions process for recruited athletes as well as early- and regular-decision applicants.

“It’s actually a very strong process, but there are some safeguards that we can build in,” Locke said.

The committee, which Locke co-chairs along with Maria Zuber, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Corporation, will present a set of recommendations for changes to the admissions process to the faculty this fall. The changes will then be voted on at October’s Corporation meeting.

A motion to permanently instate a faculty member on the undergraduate admissions committee may be among the recommendations presented. In the past, faculty played a “substantive role” in the admissions process, but that role has dwindled in recent years. There is currently no explicit role for faculty, Morgan said.

“As always, I don’t want or expect a placid year at Brown,” said President Christina Paxson P’19 during her brief address.

Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article stated that the acronym for Advisory Committee on University Resource Management is “ACRUM.” In fact, it is “ACURM.” The Herald regrets the error. 

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