Statement on Columbia University Divestment

We at applaud the recent efforts of Columbia University to divest in privately owned prisons. On May 15th, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger issued the following statement:

"The issue of mass incarceration in America weighs heavily on our country, our city, and our University community. The student group Columbia Prison Divest has been a vocal and valued champion for private prison divestment and the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing (ACSRI), led this year by Jeffrey Gordon, Richard Paul Richman Professor of Law, has been examining this issue.

On March 31, 2015, ACSRI resolved to recommend to the Trustees that the University divest any direct stock ownership interests in companies engaged in the operation of private prisons and refrain from making subsequent investments in such companies. I support this recommendation, which represents the culmination of thoughtful analysis and hard work by ACSRI and by our students, faculty, and alumni. The recommendation will be taken up by the University’s Trustees at their next scheduled meeting in June. "