CORRECTION APPENDED: This story said the University divested from South Africa in 1978. Although it took steps toward divestment that year, it did not completely divest until 1988.

The same story said there has been no debate on campus about divestment from Sudan. It omitted the fact that the Michigan Student Assembly passed a resolution in 2005 urging the University Board of Regents to divest.

While the issue of divestment from Sudan has created a stir at many colleges across the nation, it hasn’t been a topic of debate at the University of Michigan.

That’s because the University doesn’t have any funds invested in the region, administrators said.

But asked if the University would rule out investing in Sudan in the future, University spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham declined to comment.

“That’s a hypothetical question that I’m just not going to answer,” she said. “We don’t anticipate investing in Sudan.”

Tim Slottow, the University’s Chief Financial Officer, said in an e-mail interview that the University doesn’t have holdings in any companies doing business in Sudan.

“We have never officially divested from Sudan because the University has not and does not own stocks of any company widely recognized for working in Sudan,” he said. “Nor do we own bonds in any company widely recognized for working in Sudan.”

This hasn’t been the case for many other colleges, though.

In the past two years, Harvard University, Yale University and the University of California system have all taken steps to divest from Sudan.

Harvard led the pack by announcing its divestment on April 4, 2005.

All three universities have cited humanitarian concerns about the Sudanese government’s treatment of civilians in the country’s Darfur region. Since July 2003, the government-supported Janjaweed militia has massacred hundreds of thousands of people. The State Department has deemed the killings to be genocide.

Last month, The University of Chicago became one of the first major universities to outright reject divestment from Sudan. In a written statement, Chicago President Robert Zimmer justified the decision by invoking a report issued by a faculty committee in 1967 that said the University of Chicago should not “permit itself to be diverted from its mission into playing the role of a second-rate political force or influence.”

Before they divested from the country, Harvard, Yale and the University of California system all had investments in member companies of Petrodar Operating Company, an international consortium of oil companies. Among Petrodar’s member companies is Sudan Petroleum Companies, which is owned by the government of Sudan.

Proponents of divestment have accused Petrodar of supporting the Sudanese government’s attempts to develop the country’s oil industry, a major source of revenue for the country. They accuse the Sudanese government of using oil money to fund genocide.

The University of Chicago’s decision to reject divestment created an uproar on the campus. Members of the University of Chicago chapter of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur walked in on a lunch meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees on March 1, demanding a divestment of all funds from Sudan.

Rebecca Abraham, a University of Chicago student who is a media coordinator for STAND, said the group will continue to pressure the University to divest.

“Right now, we’re still focused on keeping the issue of divestment alive,” Abraham said.

David Greene, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Chicago, said the university realizes the need to have a positive impact on the crisis in Darfur, but said it should consider other options besides divestment.

Even though other universities have divested from Sudan, the University of Chicago needs to fashion an approach that is appropriate for its own mission and values, Greene said.

The University of Michigan has a policy formulated by the University Board of Regents and two faculty committees that explains the conditions for divestment.

The resolution says the regents will consider divestment if an issue “involves serious moral or ethical questions” and raises concern among students, faculty or staff.

After a committee comprised of faculty, administrators, students and alumni makes recommendations to the regents, the board will decide whether the issue warrants divestment.

In an interview with The Michigan Daily last month, President Mary Sue Coleman said divestment should only be used for in extreme circumstances.

“The University shouldn’t use divestment to make political statements,” Coleman said.

The University of Michigan has only divested for political reasons twice in its history.

In 1988, the regents decided that South African apartheid was cause for divestment from that country.

The second divestment occurred in 2000, when the Board of Regents voted to withdraw the University’s holdings in tobacco manufacturing companies. The regents agreed with the conclusion of the University’s Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Tobacco Investments, which was formed by then-University President Lee Bollinger.

The committee argued that the tobacco industry was guilty of “dishonest, deceptive, and generally reprehensible conduct unparalleled in the history of American business and at a cost of millions of lives.”

In an interview with The Michigan Daily last year, Regent Larry Deitch (D-Bingham Farms) said he now thinks it was a mistake to divest from tobacco companies. He voted for divestment at the time.

“It’s just not a good idea,” Deitch said. “Many of us feel that divestment should only be used in the most extreme and egregious examples, and even then there’s a question of whether it’s a good thing for universities to do.”

Rebecca Grapevine contributed to this report.

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