The U of I System investment program has $4.27 billion in assets under management (AUM) in its operating and endowment pools. The endowment includes legacy gifts that were bequest directly to the University, as well as a portion of the operating cash and other funds. It is separate from the University of Illinois Foundation.
The investment program launched the Empowering Excellence: Financial Stewardship through Responsible Investing initiative in 2020, which is guided by the U of I System’s Guiding Principles and the Illinois Sustainable Investing Act. Six sub-components form the initiative: seeding an ESG Insights strategy managed by BlackRock, active ownership, sustainable farming practices, private market impact funds, industry advocacy, and student engagement.
While there are many other sustainability initiatives happening within the U of I System and its three campuses, this case study focuses on it's investment program.
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE CONTRIBUTIONS TO RESEARCHING,
WRITING, AND REVIEWING THIS CASE STUDY FROM:
- Georges Dyer, Intentional Endowments Network
- Haley Obermeier, Intentional Endowments Network
- Siobhan Pender, Intentional Endowments Network
- Geri Melchiorre, University of Illinois System
- Hannah Leischner, University of Illinois System