Build Consensus

Once some trustees have answered their pressing questions about aligning their endowment with their school's mission , it will be helpful to build consensus about how the endowment investments may be used to support institutional purpose among a larger group of fiduciaries including other trustees, the investment committee, CIO's and CFO's - before progressing with implementation.  The discussion can be enriched by including the broad campus community including students, alumni, donors, faculty and staff. 

Consensus Building among Trustees and other Endowment Fiduciaries 

Conversations among trustees and other endowment fiduciaries can challenge the participants to investigate their investment beliefs, their world views and their values. Often, these conversations occur in the midst of a politically charged atmosphere.

Here are some true stories about those conversations in the boardroom, the challenges and the solutions from

  • Hampshire College,
  • Becker College,  
  • University of Dayton and
  • San Francisco State University

 

Stories from the Boardroom - Leadership Governance & Fiduciary Duty 

 

Stories from the Boardroom - Building Consensus for Sustainable Investing Panel 

 

 

 

More resources on facilitating dialogue and building consensus can be found here.

 

Establishing a community wide dialogue:

Engaging all stakeholders is a way the board and endowment managers can draw on the creativity and intellectual capacity of the community. Furthermore, engagement signals to the community that the university or foundation is taking action on sustainability.


There are a number of vehicles for involving campus stakeholders in the learning and conversation about sustainable investing.  

Here are a few that have been used successfully by higher education institutions:

 

 

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