Yale has repeatedly said it values a diverse, inclusive campus. However, the underrepresentation of scholars of color and women has persisted for years, with major consequences for the quality of a Yale education. When scholars from marginalized communities are absent, Yale is missing important academic topics and perspectives, as well as potential mentors for students from underrepresented communities.
Yale periodically takes action, sometimes well-funded, to try to correct this problem. Although these actions have resulted in a more diverse undergraduate population, they have failed to create a more diverse faculty or graduate school. Despite repeated efforts to bring more scholars from underrepresented backgrounds in, the university has been unwilling to make the structural changes necessary for these scholars to succeed and thrive. Student and faculty activists have called for such changes for years, including an institutional commitment to the study of race and ethnicity; valuing the mentorship and teaching that marginalized scholars disproportionately undertake; and ending budget austerity, which has disproportionately affected scholars and programs that are already marginalized. To read more, click on the link below:
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Yale’s administration has sent us several messages warning us to prepare for budget cuts and austerity. But how much money does Yale really have from the endowment to spend?
Yale has a long-term spending target of 5.25 percent of its endowment. However, they have not met their own target in recent years. Yale’s underspending against its own target adds up to $648 million since 2013.
The underspending has real consequences. The value of the endowment has almost doubled since the last financial crash. But spending has not kept up. Yale should not be making cuts at a time when community members are deeply concerned about basic necessities. What could Yale spend $648 million on in this emergency? To read more, click on the link below:
As Local 33, we believe that the entire Yale community should be involved in the conversation about how Yale makes its money and what it does with it. That’s why our union has a long history of researching Yale’s investment practices. At a general membership meeting in 2018, we voted to ratify a resolution that stated:
“…We believe Yale’s financial practices should live up to its educational mission and claims of ethical investment. In order to build a more transparent and democratic university, and to defend the value of academic work, Local 33 – UNITE HERE commits to working with campus groups and the wider community in holding Yale accountable for its investment practices.”
Yale claims to be a pioneer of principled investing – its website states, “Yale was one of the first institutions to address formally the ethical responsibilities of institutional investors.” However, Yale has sought to profit from numerous investments that harm vulnerable communities. Yale never publicized these investments — our union’s research uncovered them.
We believe that reversing Yale’s long history of failure on racial and economic justice will take true accountability, and that a union contract can be part of holding Yale accountable. We share our research publicly in the hopes that members of the Yale, New Haven and global communities who are affected by Yale’s investment practices can have tools to hold Yale accountable as well. Click on any of the links to find out more.