University should disclose full sustainability results

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    TCU was graded by the Sustainable Endowment Institute, and the grade the university received would send any parent running toward a parent-teacher conference.Overall, the university scored a D but was hit with an F in two areas concerning investment practices.

    The institute evaluated the university endowment’s ability to meet the needs of the present without impairing future generations.

    While the institute credited the university for environmentally-friendly practices, such as compost yard waste and building new facilities that are environmentally sound, the study faulted the university heavily for its investment practices.

    While the institute’s analysis definitely has its faults, there’s merit in its evaluation of the university’s policy on disclosing investment information.

    The study took issue with the university’s strict non-disclosure policy about its investment practices.

    It’s clearly a legitimate complaint. The reality is that nobody really knows whether the university’s financial practices are environmentally beneficial or not.

    But it’s hard to fault the university for not eagerly disclosing the information. As administrators have said, doing so puts the university at a competitive disadvantage.

    The institute makes a well-reasoned suggestion, though. They recommend a delayed-disclosure policy.

    Such a policy would allow the university to release information that is somewhat out of date and doesn’t put the university at a competitive disadvantage but still allows those concerned with the university’s investment practices to analyze them in retrospect.

    It’s possible the university is investing money in renewable-energy funds and community-development loans just like the study recommends.

    It’s also possible, though, the endowment’s funds are being invested in areas that are environmentally harmful. Hopefully, that’s not the case.

    Either way, nobody will ever know under a strict non-disclosure policy.

    News editor Andrew Chavez for the editorial board.

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