Presidential Task Force to Examine Divestment

Barnard’s Board of Trustees established the Presidential Task Force to Examine Divestment at its meeting on December 9, 2015, as a result of an effective year-long student campaign from the group Divest Barnard to convince Barnard’s administration and Board to consider divesting its endowment from fossil fuel companies. 

The goal of the Task Force is to enable the Committee on Investments and, subsequently, the Board of Trustees, to make an informed decision about whether to seek divestment from companies that extract, process, distribute, and sell fossil fuels.  President Spar charged the Task Force “to work collaboratively with a cross-section of the Barnard community to assess the financial implications of divestment; to understand Barnard's ethical responsibilities as a good global citizen in dealing with the impact of climate change; and to make a determination about the compatibility of these priorities.”

Over the course of nine months, the Task Force weighed the financial and fiduciary responsibilities of the Board to grow the value of Barnard’s endowment and the moral and ethical issues surrounding Barnard’s responsibility to do its part to address the climate change issue. 

Read the full report from the Presidential Task Force to Examine Divestment.

Read the press release announcing Task Force report.

Read the media alert announcing the divestment decision.

Presidential Task Force To Examine Divestment

Ex Officio Members 

Debora Spar, President, Barnard College

Jolyne Caruso-Fitzgerald, BC ’81, Chair, Board of Trustees

Linda Fayne-Levinson, BC ’62, Chair, Committee on Investments

Task Force Members

Robert Goldberg, Chief Operating Officer, Task Force Chair

Eileen Di Benedetto, VP for Finance, Task Force Executive Director

Camille Kiely Kelleher, BC ’70, Trustee, Committee on Investments

Purnima Puri, Trustee, Committee on Investments

Daniel Zwirn, Trustee, Committee on Investments

Faculty & Staff

Sandra Goldmark, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Theatre

Stephanie Pfirman, Hirschorn Professor of Environmental and Applied Science and Co-Chair of the Department of Environmental Science

Rajiv Sethi, Professor, Economics

Julia Wang, Director, Campus Services Administration


Evelyn Mayo, BC ’18, Divest Barnard Representative

Camila Puig, BC ’17, Divest Barnard Representative

Maya Edwards, BC ’17, SGA Representative

Christine Pries, BC ’17, SGA Representative

Michelle Depardieu, BC ’16, SGA Representative (through June 2016)

Research Assistant

Helen Cane, BC ’17

Administrative Support

DiAnn Pierce, Special Assistant to the President

Contact the Task Force


Additional Info & Resources