"Message from the Board of Trustees" to GSU, email from January 18, 2011

Dear Geoduck Student Union:

As co-chairs of the Board of Trustees, we want to respond to the GSU's resolutions calling for divestment from Israel and a boycott of Caterpillar.

The Board of Trustees has fiduciary responsibility for investments held by the college and oversees the college's financial management through regular review of financial reports and audits. The Board delegates to the President the authority and responsibility for investments and purchasing, the areas addressed by the GSU resolutions. Neither the Board of Trustees nor the college president has authority over investments held by The Evergreen State College Foundation. President Purce's previous response to the GSU described this state of affairs in some detail.

Over the past six months, the Board has received extensive public comment on the GSU resolutions and related topics, both in our public meetings and in writing. Some of the comment we heard urged the Board to include formal consideration of the GSU resolutions as part of a future Board agenda. Board meeting agendas are set by the Board chairs in consultation with the President.

The Board's long-standing delegation gives the President the responsibility for the college investments and purchasing. We do not intend to revisit the delegation, so do not plan to add discussion of the GSU resolutions to our agenda. President Purce's response to the resolutions is the college's formal response. President Purce met with the GSU to discuss his response and he would welcome further discussion. He can be contacted at purcel@evergreen.edu.

We have appreciated the opportunity to hear from multiple points of view and to witness the profound commitment by Evergreen's students and faculty to learning and social justice. Clearly, these are difficult issues about which many points of view exist on campus. We want to thank the GSU for its work to advance this discussion at Evergreen. We take the issue very seriously and are proceeding in a thoughtful manner, as is our responsibility to the college and our students.

We understand from President Purce's report to us at the last Board meeting that he has instructed the Vice President for Finance and Administration to propose an update to the collegeʼs investment policy and that the Provost is working with faculty to develop the educational opportunities opened up by the GSU's resolutions. We believe that the steps President Purce and Provost Tabbutt are taking are the best course of action for Evergreen.


Irene Gonzales, Ed.D., Co-Chair
Anne Proffitt, '76, Co-Chair