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Harvard did not make any fresh decisions to pull out of companies doing business in South Africa over the past year, according to figures released this week.
In its 1987-88 annual report, the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR) reports that Harvard's holdings in South Africa-related companies decreased from $244.9 million in 64 companies in 1987 to $230.9 million in 50 companies as of August 31, 1988.
The $14 million drop reflects the fact that Harvard decided during the previous fiscal year to sell its holdings in six companies--Mobil, Texaco, Chevron, Royal Dutch Petroleum, Ford Motors and Phelps Dodge. The CCSR announced that decision last year.
In addition, eight companies in which Harvard continued to hold stock withdrew from South Africa on their own. Ten of the 50 remaining companies have also announced plans to withdraw.
The CCSR called on United Technologies, a defense firm, to leave South Africa because of its poor adherence to the Sullivan Principles for conduct as an employer under apartheid.
University Treasurer Roderick M. MacDougall '51, who acts as chair and official spokesperson for the CCSR, was not available for comment.
The CCSR oversees the voting of Harvard's shares in shareholder resolutions. It considers the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibilty (ACSR), which reviews ethical questions in shareholder resolutions and occasionally proposes new investment policy. The CCSR followed the ACSR's advice on more than 90 percent of this year's 110 proxy votes.
Four years ago the ACSR voted to recommend that Harvard divest from all South Africa-related stocks but this year's ACSR reversed this position and supported the University's policy of selective divestment.
Selective divestment calls for Harvard to drop its stock in companies with poor ratings under the Sullivan Principles and from companies selling strategic products such as weapons to the South African government.
A joint committee of the Board of Overseers and the Harvard Corporation iscurrently reconsidering the University's policy ofselective divestment. It will present itsrecommendations to both boards in December.
The two committees decided to abstain from oroppose other resolutions calling for withdrawal,arguing either that the companies had highSullivan ratings or that there was no proof thatthe companies were selling products to thegovernment.
They also considered several resolutionscalling on companies that have withdrawn fromSouth Africa to cut all remaining ties with thecountry.
Both committees dealt with these resolutionsone by one, after deciding not to formulate ageneral policy. The CCSR only asked GeneralMotors, which still has substantial ties to aSouth African subsidiary, Delta Motors, to cutties with the country.
In other areas, the CCSR considered andabstained from resolutions calling on technologycompanies to explain their space weaponsdevelopment, on companies doing business inNorthern Ireland to explain their policies and onbanks to cut off loans to repressive regimes suchas Chile's.
The committee opposed measures calling onmilitary firms to diversify and convert theiroperations to civilian production; onmanufacturers to develop cleanup plans forhazardous waste; on Chase Manhattan Bank toexplain its Third World loans in light of theworld debt crisis; and on energy firms to cancelplans for nuclear plants.
The CCSR supported a resolution calling onCiticorp to reveal the number of women andminorities in upper-level positions. The committeealso called on Abbott Laboratories and R.J.Reynolds-Nabisco to explain their policies onsales of infant formula and cigarettes,respectively, in developing nations. The CCSR alsoasked that research companies produce annualreports on replacements for animal testing
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