Since the Board of Trustees passed a resolution in June to divest 10% of the UNCA endowment into a new fund with Walden Asset Management (that will manage the portfolio with socially responsible principles, and will NOT invest in fossil fuels!), there has been some pushback. There has been some disagreement about whether UNCA is violating an institutional neutrality act by taking a political stance with divesting our investments from fossil fuels. Conservative think-tanks published a number of op-eds claiming that UNCA should "divest ourselves from irresponsible political posturing", stating that divestment "is an attack on freedom of inquiry and responsible social advocacy in American higher education” and comparing our divestment resolution to "a public university endorsing Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, or Donald Trump for president".
These arguments have little factual and/or legal backing and UNCA Divest is working closely with administration to maintain the progress we've made. We are confident we are not violating institutional neutrality, and will hold UNC Asheville accountable for the divestment resolution passed in June. Despite what these opponents might suggest, divestment is not a partied issue, and we need to work together to continue our progress towards climate justice. Stay tuned!