If Harvard decided tomorrow to cut ties to companies doing business in South Africa, at least three members of the University's governing boards would find themselves in the anomalous position of divesting from themselves.
These three--one Corporation member and two Overseers--serve on the board of directors of companies which, as of the most recent tally, are part of Harvard's $580 million portfolio of stock in South Africa related companies.
But Colman M. Mockler Jr. '52, Lewis McA. Branscomb and George C. Dillon '43 are only three of at least six top Harvard directors--two of the seven Corporation members and four of the 30 Overseers--who serve as executives or directors of companies which do business in the apartheid state.
As "Fellows" and Overseers of Harvard, the six share the final say over the University's investment policy, including the handling of business links to South Africa.
Mockler, a member of the Corporation since 1982, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Boston based Gillette Company, the giant personal-care products concern that had revenues of $5.9 billion last year Gillette, according to company spokesman Doug Kenney, owns one razor blade and toiletries manufacturing plant in Springs, South Africa which employs 200 people (out of a company-wide work force of 76,100), including some Blacks. For the past seven years, Kenney says, Gillette has scored the highest rating for its adherence to the Sullivan Principles, a set of six equal opportunity provisions for companies doing business in South Africa. The company also supports local schools, and in the past year opened up a legal and clinic for its employees, kenney says.
Mockler is also a director of the $5 billion, Lexington based Ravtheon Corporation, which makes electronics, communications equipment and appliance. Raytheon spokesman A. Newell Garden says a wholly-owned subsidiary company, Badger Company of Cambridge, employs two Europeans who are working on a South African government plant to convert coal into synthetic oil. Raytheon, however, has no factories or operations in the country, Garden says. As of last June 29-the most recent figure available--Harvard owns 110.276 shares of stock in Raytheon worth $4.19 million.
Nine-year Corporation veteran Robert G. Stone Jr. '45, chairman and chief executive officer of Houston based Kirby Exploration Co., an oil and gas producer, is a director of Corning Glass Works in Corning. N.Y., a broad-based electronics manufacturer with 30,500 employees and revenues last year of $1.59 billion. According to the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington, Corning maintains investments in South Africa. Further information on the company's investments there was not available last week.
Also on the Corning board with Stone are Francis H. Burr '35, who sat on the Corporation for 28 years until 1982, and Geyser University Professor Henry Rosovsky, the former dean of the Faculty.
New England Electric System President Joan T. Bok '55 is also the president of the 30-member Board of Overseers, a largely ceremonial, alumni-elected body which rubber-stamps Corporation decisions. Bok--no relation to President Derek C. Bok--sits on the board of Worcester based Norton Company, a billion-dollar manufacturer of abrasives, chemicals, diamond drilling products and other goods. Company spokesman Francis J. Doherty says 1400 of the company's 19,000 employees work at Norton's South Africa manufacturing facilities. The company has the top rating for adhering to the Sullivan Principles, Doherty says.
Lewis McA. Branscomb (Ph.D '50) who will sit on the board of Overseers until 1990, works for one South Africa-related company and sits on the boards of two others--all of which Harvard owns stock in. He is a vice president and the chief scientist at IBM, which has, according to IBM spokesman Michael Dutton, 1914 employees--including 286 Blacks--at its South African sales and service offices. IBM's South African business represented less than 1 percent of its 1984 revenues of $45.9 billion. Dutton says. He says no IBM equipment, "to our knowledge," is used by the South African government to operate the passbook system, by which it rigidly controls the movement of the country's 22 million Blacks. In addition to being one of the initial signatories to the Sullivan Principles and maintaining the highest rating. Dutton says, IBM has made several other efforts to improve opportunities for Blacks, such as a 10 year, $5 million program kicked off this April to combat illiteracy among Black schoolchildren. "We too believe apartheid is reprehensible. It's just that we feel we're a force for positive change in South Africa [and can] help bring about social and political equality," Dutton says.
According to the most recent University records, Harvard owns 443,444 shares of IBM stock worth $46.895 million. IBM is the single largest holding in Harvard's $2.3 billion endowment.
Overseer Branscomb also sits on the boards of two South Africa-related companies: General Foods Corp. of White Plains, N.Y. and Mobil Corp. of New York City. Both of those are also represented in Harvard's stock portfolio.
General Foods owns 20 percent of Cerbos Foods, a South African convenience foods company, says spokesman John Manfredi. That holding produced $500,000 for the company, which had it revenues of $8.35 billion, Manfredi says. GF plans to sell its stake in Cerbos by mid-July, but that is "Strictly a business question" and has nothing to with South Africa's racial policies, Manfredi GF has not been a Sullivan signatory. Harvard owns 38,400 shares of GF stock worth $2.0 million.
Mobil, with 1984 revenues over $50 billion, began operations in South Africa in 1897, and today has $400 million invested in the country, principally two main subsidiaries: Mobil Oil Southern Africa (MOSA) and Mobil Refining Company South Africa. MOSA sells fuels, lubricants, asphalt other products, owns about 1211 service station and has about 20.7 percent of the country's retail gasoline market share, according to company figures. Through the refining company, it owns 65,000-barrel-a-day refinery at Durban and 47 percent of a South African refining company. Some 3182 of Mobil's 178,100 worldwide employees are South Africans: of those 3182, 1014 are Black. I most recent Sullivan rating was the top category.
Harvard's stake in Mobil amounts to 305.10 shares, with a total value of $8.085 million.
New York City lawyer Samuel C. Butler '51, who will sit on the board until 1988, is a director of Kentucky-based Ashland Oil Company, manufacturer of oil, coal and chemical Spokesman Dan Lacy says the company employ about 100 people--of 32,000 company-wide--in two South African sites an oil warehouse and chemical plant. About three-quarters of those employees are Black, and the operations produce revenues last year of about $10 million, out of total 1984 revenues of $7.85 billion. Ashland received the lowest possible Sullivan rating last year, according to Lacy.
Finally, Dillon, chairman of Butler Manufacturing Company in Kansas City. Mo., whose Overseer term expires next June, sits on the board of New York-based Phelps Dodge Company Phelps Dodge, which manufactures rare metal products, owns a flourspar mine in the Western Transvaal which employs 185 people. It also own 44 percent of Black Mountain Mineral Development Company, which operates a lead and silver mine and employs 1500 people. That 44 percent stake produced $1.7 million for Phelps Dodge (out of 1984 revenues of $977.38 million), but company spokesman Richard W. Pendleton says Phelps Dodge plans to sell out of Black Mountain by the end of the year, purely for business reasons. Phelps Dodge has the middle Sullivan rating--"making progress"--according to Pendleton.
As of last June, Harvard owns 48,800 shares of Phelps Dodge stock worth $842 000.