Eight New Members to Join ACSR
First Women Appointed to Committee
The Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR) will convene for the first time this year later this month, joined by eight new members, two of whom will be the first women ever to serve on the committee.
President Bok approved the appointment of the eight new members earlier this week, each of whom will serve a two-year term on the 12-member committee, which advises the Corporation on shareholder ethics.
This year's turnover was exceptionally high, members said yesterday, adding that besides the regular attrition two other members decided to serve their terms for only one year.
Harvard's investment policy towards companies doing business in South Africa will again be one of the main controversies the committee will address this year.
Last spring, the ACSR tied on a recommendation advising the Corporation to divest itself from stock in all South African related companies. This vote was the first time in the committee's 11-year history that such a recommendation had ever been considered.
The committee also unanimously recommended that the Corporation see if companies comply with certain minimum wage and labor guidelines before investing in them.
The Corporation is expected to give its response to the ACSR's proposals later this fall.
Most of the new members of the committee, which is comprised of faculty, alumni, and students, said that they are not willing to commit themselves to either side of the divestiture issue.
Richard B. Stewart, a new appointee who will chair the committee, yesterday said that ACSR will have to take last year's recommendations and other alternatives into account before making any new recommendations about divestiture.
Our principal job is to advice corporations on how to vote on proxy proposals," Stewart added. Each spring, the ACSR recommends how the Corporation should vote on individual shareholder resolutions sent out by companies the University has stock in.
Stewart went on to say that "We might decide that our time is more constructively spent on nuclear issues."
John Kasnan '45, one of three new alumni representatives to the committee and the first alumni to participate in the program, yesterday said that "I am looking ford ward to receiving some background materials so I can make some intelligent decisions," adding that as a business woman, she will help contribute to the diversity of the people serving on the ACSR.
The two other alumni members are Ernest Monard '51, and Theodore Chase '34, Chase, who has been serving on an ad hoe committee established last fall to review the ACSR's performance, refused to comment on his role in the ACSR.
Besides Stewart, who is a professor at the Law School, the two other new faculty members are Kate Rooney, associate dean for administration at the Graduate School of Design, and Milton C. Weinstein, professor of Policy and Decision at the School of Public Health. proved as well: Edward Hoff, a first-year Business School student, and Claude Convisser '84.
The four returning members include Rev. F. Washington Jarvis '61, Gordon McKay Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics Myron Flering, Kennedy School representative Jack Dunlevy and Divinity School student Thomas Mackall.
Mackall said yesterday that some of the issues the committee will face has changed since last spring, predicting that a progressive student block will form this year as it did last year.
Newcomer Convisser said "I strongly support divestiture," adding "The impact Harvard would have by divesting from corporations would be substantial in educational and business circles in the U.S. and abroad."