Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Keith Archer confirmed that Knox College does not have any of its endowment invested in gun manufacturers. Archer specifically cited the Parkland, Fl. school shooting among prominent events that influenced the school to be mindful with its investments.
“I think due to the events in Florida, we did think it was prudent to check on that and see if our portfolio contained any of those investments,” Archer said.
Archer was expanding on an announcement from President Teresa Amott at the March faculty meeting to the same effect.
Following the events in Florida, Knox College reached out to its investment officer at T. Rowe Price, the firm to which the school outsources the handling of its investments, and requested they look into the situation.
“We decided to ask and inquiry if those investments existed, which they don’t,” Archer said.
While uncertain about whether Knox had gun related investments at any point in the recent past, the school was able to get confirmation that Knox currently does not have investments in gun retailers or manufacturers. However, the school is currently not certain that it does not have investments in related areas, such as the manufacturing of smaller parts that go into the production of guns.
“That’s a little harder to determine … that can be a screw or a spring or something very small,” Archer said.
The school does not currently believe any such investments exist, but Archer stated that they are continuing to look into the possibility. He also mentioned that gun divestment was the only specific area of investment concern the college has looked into recently, but assured that in general the school does keep a close eye on how the money in the endowment is being invested.
“We always are monitoring our investments and performance in what they’re in,” he said.
He added that an Investment Sub-Committee of the Board of Trustees is entrusted with working with the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer to monitor these manners. In this specific case, Archer stated that it was his and President Amott’s choice to request a closer look into this issue.