Get out of oil and gas investments, profs tell Memorial University
Professors at Memorial University want the administration to start selling off its investments in oil, an industry that has forged strong research and spending links on campus.
MUNFA, the university's faculty union, has passed a motion calling for an exploration of divestment in fossil fuels, which include companies that deal with oil, gas and coal.
The motion passed this week is aimed at a phased process of removing such companies from the portfolio the university has for its endowment, which is used for things like scholarships.
"We know removing our small investments — relatively speaking small investments — from fossil fuels is not going to solve the problem of climate change, but it's an important symbolic and moral message, we feel," said anthropology professor Robin Whitaker, who helped push for the vote.
The decision also affects MUNFA's investments directly.
The faculty union will also be taking the issue to the next meeting of the board that governs the university's pension fund.
Whitaker said the motion is not meant to single out professors and staff who do research connected with the oil industry.
She said the call is part of a longer process.
"We're not going to get rid of fossil fuels tomorrow. We're going to be using them for a long time to come. But it's time to start making changes," she said in an interview on CBC Radio's CrossTalk.
Contacted by CBC News, a Memorial University official said that the administration had not yet received anything from the union that it could respond to.