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MIT rejects abhorrent acts in Darfur, will divest as necessary

MIT today made the following announcement about its investment policies:

May 14, 2007

MIT shares the concern of many in our community for the extraordinary human tragedy taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. The situation is sufficiently grave that MIT in this case is making an exception to its long-standing policy of not speaking with a single institutional voice on matters of public debate not directly affecting MIT's core mission of education, research, and service.

MIT invests for the purpose of preserving the capital of MIT's endowment and earning a return on capital that is consistent with MIT's long-term investment horizon. At the same time, MIT will not invest in a company whose actions or expressed attitudes are abhorrent to MIT.

In the case of Sudan, the U.S. government, the United Nations and various international organizations have declared that certain actions there amount to genocide. The risk of MIT being associated with truly abhorrent acts is real. MIT is reviewing the securities portfolios over which it may exercise direct investment discretion and will divest as appropriate for those portfolios to exclude securities that would violate MIT's investment principles.

MIT's Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility served an important role in the considerations leading to this action. The Executive Committee thanks the members and staff of that committee for their dedication to the Institute and their thoughtful work.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 16, 2007 (download PDF).

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