University of North Florida
Board of Trustees

  • Special Meeting
June 3, 2014
Osprey Club House at 1:45 p.m.

Members Present  

Hugh Greene, Joe Turner, Rad Lovett, Gordon Rakita, Lanny Russell, Joannie Newton


Trustee Lovett clarified that this subcommittee was charged with determining if the university wanted to have a socially responsible investment policy, and if so, what the policy would be. He further clarified that the UNF Foundation Board had recently gone through the process of developing a similar policy.


Trustee Lovett introduced Mr. Skip Franz, who provided details on the UNF Foundation Board’s efforts to develop a similar policy. Mr. Franz explained that the impetus for the UNF Foundation Board to consider a socially responsible investment policy was that various other trade organizations were doing so. He stated, after evaluation by the UNF Foundation Board, there was consensus for neutrality.


Trustees discussed differences between the UNF Foundation Board and the UNF Board of Trustees, and determined that the UNF Foundation Board has a more limited scope, relative to the UNF Board of Trustees, and that the decision regarding a similar policy would not germane to the UNF Board of Trustees.


Trustees discussed UNF as a “green” university and asked if the UNF Foundation Board had considered that in their discussions. Mr. Franz clarified that this had been taken into consideration.


Trustees discussed the ramifications of the university and the Foundation for being on the vanguard regarding the environment – to include practical application prior to philosophical. Trustees also discussed the overall culture of the university and where the greatest impact might be. Trustees commented on the role of the university, as thought leader within the community, noting that the university’s decision on the proposed policy would provide a cascading effect, but would it be a sustainable conversation.


Trustees discussed student involvement, noting that there was a group of student who were very passionate about the policy. Trustees discussed possible aftermath of the policy, to include specific environmental issues such as fossil fuel, etc., and how the university might be charged by the proposed policy to take these issues up. Trustees discussed how determinations would be made on issues for the proposed policy – how to quantify consequences, how to determine investments, etc.


The committee concluded that it was in the university’s best interest to have a policy and members of the committee would work through the summer to draft a policy, which would be presented to the full Board at their October meeting.


Trustee Lovett adjourned the meeting.