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Report Card 2010

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Whitman College

Endowment Survey

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With the publication of the College Sustainability Report Card 2010, more than 1,100 school survey responses from over 300 institutions are now available online. In total, these surveys offer more than 10,000 pages of data collected from colleges and universities during the summer of 2009 . To access surveys from other schools, go to the  surveys section  of the website. To see grades, or to access additional surveys submitted by this school, please click the "Back to Report Card" link at the beginning or end of the survey.

 

Name: Justin Rodegerdts
Title:
Financial Analyst
Date survey submitted:
July 24, 2009

1) How does your school handle proxy voting on environmental, social, and governance issues?
(a) We do not have the ability to vote proxies as the entire equity holdings of the endowment are invested in mutual funds (e.g. CommonFund, Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.).
(b) We ask that our investment managers handle the details of proxy voting.
(c) We provide our investment managers with general guidelines that determine our proxy votes.
(d) We provide our investment managers with specific corporate governance guidelines that determine our proxy votes.*
(e) We provide our investment managers with specific environmental and social guidelines that determine our proxy votes.*
(f) A member of our school administration determines our proxy votes.
(g) A committee of administrators and/or trustees deliberates and makes decisions on proxy votes.
(h) A committee that includes student representatives deliberates and makes recommendations or decisions on proxy votes.
(i) School community feedback is incorporated into proxy voting decisions through town hall meetings or a website.

Your answers :
Proxy voting on corporate governance matters: The majority of the endowment is invested in mutual funds or commingled accounts.   For those separately managed accounts the investment manager largely handles proxy voting, while those proxy votes Whitman does receive a member of our school administration determines our proxy votes.
Proxy voting on environmental and social resolutions: (same as above)
*Please provide URL or attach guidelines (optional).

2) If you answered "g" or "h" to question 1, please provide the following information about the committee:
Name of committee:
Number of meetings held since August 2008:
Name of chair(s):
Position of chair (e.g., administrator, faculty, staff, student):
To whom does the committee report (e.g., Trustee Committee, President, Vice President):
Number of administrators on committee:
Number of alumni on committee:
Number of faculty on committee:
Number of staff on committee:
Number of students on committee:
Number of trustees on committee:
Total number of committee members:

3) Please indicate what information about proxy voting records is made available to each of the groups listed under "Your answers" (select all that apply):
(a)  No information is made available
(b)  Votes cast on proxy resolutions only by category (and not company specific)
(c)  Votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level
(d)  Votes cast on proxy resolutions on a company-specific level, including the number of shares

Your answers :
Trustees and senior administrators: (d) Beginning in 2009 Whitman has made votes of proxy decisions made by the College available.   Records previous to this year are unavailable.
Trustees, senior administrators and other select members of the school community: (d) same as above
All members of the school community including faculty, staff, students and alumni: (d) same as above
The public per open records law: N/A
The public: (a)

4) Where is information about proxy voting records made available?
(a) Information is not made available.
(b) Information is available at the investment office or similar office on campus.
(c) Information is sent to individuals upon request.
(d) Information is on the school website with password protection.
(e) Information is on the school website and is accessible to the public.

Your answers :
To the school community.
Proxy voting records on environmental and social resolutions: (b) Beginning in 2009 Whitman has made votes of proxy decisions made by the College available.   Records previous to this year are unavailable.
Proxy voting records on corporate governance matters: (b) same as above
To the public.
Proxy voting records on environmental and social resolutions: (a)
Proxy voting records on corporate governance matters: (a)

5) Please indicate what information about endowment holdings is made available to each of the groups listed under "Your answers" (select all that apply):
(a)  No information is made available
(b)  Asset allocation
(c)  List of external managers
(d)  List of mutual funds
(e)  Equity holdings
(f)  Fixed income holdings
(g)  Real estate holdings
(h)  Hedge fund holdings
(i)  Private equity holdings
(j)  Venture capital holdings
(k)  Natural resource holdings
(l)  Cash
(m)  Other holdings (please specify)
(n)  All holdings

Your answers :
Available to trustees and senior administrators: (n) All holdings
Available to trustees, senior administrators, and other select members of the school community: (n) All holdings
Available to all members of the school community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni: (n) All holdings
Available to the public per open records law: (N/A)
Available to the public: (b) Asset Allocation

6) Please indicate where information about endowment holdings is made available to the school community and to the public:
(a) Information is not made available.
(b) Information is available at the investment office or similar office on campus.
(c) Information is sent to individuals upon request.
(d) Information is on the school website with password protection.
(e) Information is on the school website and is accessible to the public.

Your answers :
To the school community: (b) A list of endowment holdings is available upon request from the investment office.
To the public: (a)

7) Is your school currently invested in any of the following areas? (Please list all that apply.)
(a) Renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles
(b) Community development financial institutions or community development loan funds
(c) On-campus energy and/or water efficiency projects through the endowment (as an investment and not a payout)
(d) None of the above

Your answer : (d)

8) Is your school currently exploring investment in any of the following areas? (Please list all that apply.)
(a) Renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles
(b) Community development financial institutions or community development loan funds
(c) On-campus energy and/or water efficiency projects through the endowment (as an investment and not as a payout)
(d) None of the above

Your answer : (d)   The endowment is currently exploring wind energy projects on several endowed farm properties to expand wind power generating capacity in the region.   These projects would be placed on Whitman’s endowed land, but turbine construction would be funded through the energy company.  

9) Does your school have any investment policy provisions, or use any investment managers, that consider environmental/sustainability factors?
(a) No
(b) Yes (please describe)
(c) Currently under consideration (please describe)

Your answer : (b) The College currently invests a   portion of the endowment in a manager who has clear environmental and climate change policies seeking investment opportunities that have a positive impact on climate change.   Investments are made in businesses that take the environmental impact of their operation into account through a formal environmental assessment in cases involving loss of habitat, climate change, water/air quality, and taking steps to mitigate any risks.

10) Does your school offer donors the option of directing gifts to an investment fund that considers environmental/sustainability factors?
(a) No
(b) Yes (please describe)
(c) Currently under consideration (please describe)


Your answer : (a)

Question 11 is for informational purposes only; responses will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process .
11) Please provide total endowment value as of the following dates:
6/30/2008 : $387MM
9/30/2008 : $355MM
12/31/2008 : $304MM
3/31/2009 : $290MM

 

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