A group of students and alumni has called for suspending donations to Princeton until the University divests its endowment holdings in fossil-fuel companies.
The group, which calls itself DIVEST PRINCETON, cited “the devastating effects of rapid climate change” in an open letter and petition to President Eisgruber ’83 posted at Medium.com Oct. 20. “Profiting from fossil fuels, at this point, is incompatible with acting in the nation’s service or the service of humanity,” the group said.
Princeton spokesman Ben Chang said the University “maintains a general presumption against taking stands on political issues as an institution” to provide an unbiased forum to explore issues. He added that Princeton’s divestment policy requires “disassociation” from a company if a decision is made to divest — in Eisgruber’s words, “to disassociate from it in all other aspects of our operations.”
Citing University ties with energy companies that range from research to recruiting to purchasing products to sustainability advice, Chang said these companies “do not meet the disassociation standard.”
In 2015, the University’s Resources Committee determined that a proposal to divest from fossil-fuel companies had not met the necessary criteria.