About the Faculty/Staff Divestment Network.
The Faculty/Staff Divestment Network (FSDN) is a loose group of campus employees from across the nation working on fossil fuel divestment. While students are leading the movement, there are important roles for faculty and staff. Students often need and want support. Faculty and staff often know how our campuses work and have helpful connections with administrators. Some faculty and staff are in a powerful position to speak publicly through op-eds, open letters, radio and TV interviews, and other venues in favor of divestment and the need to address global climate change. Moreover faculty and staff actions such as petitions and divestment resolutions can be an important complement to student calls for divestment.
“We cannot urge students to have the courage to speak out unless we are willing to do so ourselves.” [Theodore Hesburgh, former president of Notre Dame, as quoted by Scott Sherman in The Nation, March 11/18, 2013, p. 21].
Bringing Divestment to Your Campus.
A growing number of US institutions are following Unity College's lead, and yours could be next!
Convincing the administration and Board of Trustees on your campus that divestment from fossil fuels is in their interest economically and ecologically speaking, may at first seem like an uphill battle. However an increasing number of colleges and universities in the US are committing to divest from fossil fuels. Why? On one hand, the science of global climate change leaves no doubt of our communal responsibilities. More than 97% of all climate scientists agree that humans are at fault for the current global warming. On the other hand, and despite some skepticism that still exists, it turns out that divesting from fossil fuels benefits the long-term economic outlook for educational institutions and their endowments.
The first institution in the US to divest all fossil fuel holdings from its portfolio was Unity College in Maine. In a recent interview its president Stephen Mulkey addressed the concerns administrators have when they are confronted with the question "are we willing to divest?" As it turned out Unity's decision in November 2012 to divest from fossil fuels was not only in line with its own mission statement and the right ethical decision to make, it also benefitted the college's endowment which is now bigger than ever.
Fighting Global Climate Change
One Campus at a Time