Over 250 University of Chicago Faculty Demand Fossil Fuel Divestment in Open Letter

Today, the Stop Funding Climate Change, UChicago fossil fuel divestment cam-
paign has released a letter written and signed by 258 University of Chicago faculty members urging the University to divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. The signatories represent over 50 departments, encompassing over 10 percent of all University faculty and including 4 MacArthur fellows, 10 members of the faculty council and 5 department and committee chairs.

Other notable signatories include the Executive Director of the Pozen Center for Human Rights, the Director of the Program on the Global Environment and the former Dean of Admissions.

The letter argues that “profiting from these industries conflicts with the paramount social value of avoiding significant and permanent degradation of our planet that, if left unchecked, will adversely affect all of us, personally and as an institution” and calls the University to take action by immediately freezing any new investment in fossil fuel companies and divesting from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

The faculty letter reinforces overwhelming support of divestment from the student body, 70% of the which that voted in favor of divestment in a student government referendum in 2013. As part of an international movement, UChicago would join a network of over 60 universities, over 60 cities, numerous religious institutions and private foundations that have demonstrated their social responsibility to both current and future generations by refusing to finance the biggest actors in climate change: fossil fuel companies. 3.4 trillion dollars have been divested from the fossil
fuel industry, socially stigmatizing the fossil fuel industry and putting pressure on these corporations to end their active perpetuation of our dependence on fossil fuels. SFCC will continue to pressure the administration until the Board of Trustees divests the University’s endowment from the fossil fuel industry.

Follow the hashtag #StopFundingClimateChange for updates on February 22.
Stop Funding Climate Change, UChicago is a campaign of UChicago Climate Action Network (UCAN), a chapter of the IIRON Student Network (ISN), a student power organization that fights for racial, economic and environmental justice at campuses across Chicago.

Find us on the UCAN or SFCC Facebook page, or on the UCAN or ISN twitter. Find our divestment report on SFCC’s website.