The University of Massachusetts will divest its endowment from fossil fuel holdings following a unanimous vote of the board of directors of the university’s foundation.
The move is a response to protests took place in April at the Amherst campus. University President Marty Meehan met with representatives of the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign and indicated that he would push for investments to be made into sustainable and clean energy companies rather than those focused in petroleum and coal.
“This action is consistent with the principals that have guided our university since its Land Grant inception and reflects our commitment to take on the environmental challenges that confront us all,” Meehan said. “Important societal change often begins on college campuses and it often begins with students. I’m proud of the students and the entire University community for putting UMass at the forefront of a vital movement, one that has been important to me throughout my professional life.”
With the approval from the UMass Foundation, this measure will be brought up to the board of trustees. Chairman of this board Victor Wooldridge states that he will encourage the remaining trustees to endorse this course of action. The university would be the first public university to divest from fossil fuel companies.