HuffPo op ed calls for corporate transparency at universities

November 30, 2012

The Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility issued a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which gives urgent tips for college institutions, stating that they should demand political transparency from corporations so universities can know for certain that they're affiliated with companies that reflect their values.

"Disclosure of material corporate political spending would allow shareholders to track the spending practices of the corporations they own," wrote Terra Lawson-Remer, an assistant professor at the New School and Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations, in an op-ed appearing in The Huffington Post. "[It would also] provide the information necessary for colleges to invest prudently and in line with their missions, and illuminate the activities of corporations in the elections that govern this nation."

In the Post, Lawson-Remer goes on to note that Massachusetts, California and other states mandate that independent political advocacy groups reveal their donors. Meanwhile, a few major corporations like Intel and Target have caved to demands from shareholders to reveal some of their political spending. But Lawson-Remer wrote that these steps aren't enough, and universities could use their influence or corporations to significantly increase transparency.

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