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Finance and Business Affairs

Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) Working Group

Background. In 2015, the University created the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Task Force as a way to explore options in which Seattle University could further its commitment to social responsibility in making investments consistent with its Investment Policy Statement. One of the recommendations adopted by the Board of Trustees was to establish a working group to engage with interested students, faculty and staff on relevant matters of social responsibility in investing and advise the Investment Committee on an ongoing basis.

Purpose. This permanent Working Group of the Investment Committee (Committee) will serve as the liaison between the campus community and the Committee. It will provide information and recommendations to the Committee on socially responsible investment issues that can be taken into account when making decisions on investments, policies and practices for Seattle University

Charge. The Working Group shall have no power or authority, other than to make recommendations to the Investment Committee. The Working Group will hear, review and make recommendations to the Committee on concerns of the campus community relating to socially responsible investments pertaining to the Endowment Fund. The Committee will look to the Working Group to provide input as to how the University can invest its resources in a way which is consistent with guidelines set forth in the Investment Policy Statement.

The Investment Policy Statement of the Investment Committee states:

Consistent with the University’s Jesuit Catholic values, the [Investment] Committee will consider the University’s commitment to ethics and social responsibility in making investment decisions. While the Committee remains committed to its fiduciary duty to the University’s long-term financial growth and sustainability, it also recognizes the value of non-traditional investment opportunities in providing a reasonable return as well as furthering the University’s mission and values.

Organization and Membership. The Committee will appoint one of its members to chair the Working Group. There should be representatives on the Working Group from the campus community, including faculty, staff and students who have a background or interest in social responsibility and ethics as applied to investment decisions. The Working Group will consist of no less than eight members, at least three of whom will be members of the Committee or the University’s Board of Trustees. Student members will be appointed by the Seattle University Student Government (SGSU) and the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Faculty will be appointed by the Academic Assembly. Administrative staff members and alumni members will be appointed by Seattle University’s President. The Chair of the Board of Trustees and the President shall be ex-officio voting members of the Working Group, but shall not be counted for the purpose of establishing a quorum.

Meetings and Elections: The Working Group will hold meetings as needed but no less than two meetings annually. Notifications of these meetings will be provided to membership at least ten days in advance. Once per year during the change of academic years, the Working Group will reassess its membership and leadership positions. Members will be appointed by the appropriate bodies to two year terms.

Recommendations: Working Group recommendations and reports will be submitted in writing to the Investment Committee. Documents will include both suggested actions and justification for those suggestions.

Minutes: Minutes for the meetings will be prepared. Record of the minutes will be kept electronically on Seattle University’s secure server for future use or review.

Dismissal: Members who, in the judgment of the Chair, are absent without reasonable cause from three successive meetings will be considered to have resigned their seat. The Working Group will move to fill their position in these circumstances.

Communications: While members are expected and encouraged to discuss the motivation behind the Working Group’s charge, members shall not report opinions expressed in meetings, nor shall they report independently on Working Group actions to the University community or outside entities without explicit approval from the Working Group Chair.

 

Approved by the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees December 2, 2016
Approved by the Seattle University Board of Trustees February 23, 2017