The Board of Trustees of the Yale Corporation decided Wednesday not to divest its investments in South Africa.
The decision was a culmination of a "lengthy examination of the costs and ethical responsibilities involved," Steve Cazirian, assistant director of public information for Yale University, said yesterday.
Part of the rationale for the decision was to avoid the loss of more than $5 million that the university would have incurred in the transfer of the $170 million holdings to other areas, he added.
The Yale trustees' decision, like the similar move made by Harvard earlier this year, was counter to students' demands for divestiture.
The Yale trustees were very aware of Harvard's decision and the text of Yale's 15-page position paper was "not much different than Harvard's," Cazirian said.
Yale President A. Bartlett Giamatti said yesterday, "Our belief is that U.S.- based companies have an opportunity to improve the situation in South Africa, and as shareholder, Yale is in a position to use that opportunity."
According to the position paper, Yale will be prepared to divest its holdings in companies that do not subscribe to a specified code of conduct established by Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, a former Yale chaplain, and accepted by over 100 businesses.
So far, Harvard, Yale and Stanford have all decided to retain their investments in South Africa.
When asked yesterday if Yale's decision would be agreeable to all the members of the Yale community when school resumes, a Yale official replied, "It's very quiet down here now, like up there-- but who knows what will happen in the fall."