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Recommendation on Divestment Expected in Early April

Come early April, the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility will hand off their recommendations on whether MIT should divest from corporations doing business in Sudan to the MIT Corporation’s Executive Committee. In a letter to The Tech, Alan Spoon, the chair of the ACSR, wrote, “We expect to deliver our recommendation on possible courses of action to the Executive Committee for its consideration in early April.”

Michael Baenen, staff to the ACSR, said that the letter is a “status update.” Members of the ACSR met on Friday, March 2, but Baenen declined to outline any of the specific recommendations that are being considered.

The ACSR has been consulting “with individuals knowledgeable about events on the ground in Sudan,” Baenen said. In addition, there has been some benchmarking with other colleges that have faced similar decisions, he said.

When the recommendations are presented to the Executive Committee, it is possible that they will not be released publicly at the same time. “We really need to have a chance for the Executive Committee to assess [the recommendations],” Baenen said.

Kayvan Zainabadi G, the author of a petition supporting divestment, said, “I’m relieved that they’ve finally come to a decision, but I’m also concerned that they are not making public their findings.”

Last Friday’s meeting was probably the last meeting of the ACSR before the recommendations are passed to the Executive Committee since details will hopefully be wrapped up by telephone and e-mail exchanges between committee members, Baenen said.

See below for the letter from Spoon.

—Marie Y. Thibault