REC Community Investment Organizer Published in "The Boston Globe"

REC Community Investment Organizer Caroline Incledon’s letter to the editor was published in the June 11 edition of The Boston Globe! In her letter, Caroline argues that recent changes to the term limits and size of the Harvard Corporation will not be enough to spur complete endowment transparency. Check out the full letter:

Schools must move to full transparency

Jun 11, 2011 02:20 AM

RE “HARVARD improves governance, but full accountability still lags’’ (Editorial, June 4): While term limits and increased size may help modernize the Harvard Corporation, they are hardly sufficient reforms. Term limits may deter selfish interests from dominating the school’s main governing board, and increased size could lead to more debate and oversight regarding investment decisions. However, full transparency, which is necessary for operational accountability, will still be lacking.

When Lawrence Bacow was president of Tufts, the school received extremely low grades for endowment transparency from the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s report card. Furthermore, Tufts lost $20 million in the Bernard Madoff scheme under Bacow’s leadership of the board. If your editorial is going to hold ex-Harvard president Lawrence Summers accountable for his university’s endowment losses, it should recognize Bacow’s role in losses at Tufts as well, and realize that Bacow’s addition to the Harvard board doesn’t represent the sweeping change people might think.

However, neither Summers nor Bacow are individually responsible for their universities’ endowment losses. They are part of a larger, structurally ineffective higher education investment system that is convoluted and lacks transparency.

The group Students at Tufts for Investment Responsibility, of which I am president, agrees with your editorial that full improvements will occur only when the way business is carried out changes. As you suggest, this change should be built upon the release of more information and welcome more community input. “Formal rules requiring the release of minutes and agendas’’ is the least the Harvard board can do.

Caroline Incledon, Medford

Keep in touch

Sign up to receive our updates and get access to all features of this website. Sign in with:

Latest from the blog

Jul 10, 2017
"Historic new research from CDP, voted no. 1 climate change research provider by institutional investors, in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute, today reveals that 71% of all global GHG emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 100 fossil fuel producers. This group is the source of 635 billion tonnes...
Mar 23, 2017
Congratulations to the activists at York University! "The York University Advisory Committee on Responsible Investment (YUACRI) has voted to recommend the University's divestment from arms manufacturers and fossil fuels. YUACRI was established in 2012 to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into investment management processes and ownership practices...
Mar 15, 2017
"Columbia University, New York, will divest certain coal industry investments in support of addressing climate change, Lee Bollinger, the university president, said in a message posted on the university’s website. University trustees have agreed to divest from companies deriving more than 35% of their revenue from thermal coal production, he...