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Executive Committee of Pratt’s Board Meets to Review Calls for Divestment and Transparency

Jul 2, 2024

Dear Pratt Community,

In May, the Board of Trustees received a resolution from members of the Academic Senate passed by vote at their May 7, 2024, meeting. The resolution formally called upon Pratt Institute “to provide full transparency regarding institutional investments in Israeli companies or companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine and prepare to divest from these holdings, if any.”

During the May 9 meeting of our full Board, at the request of student and faculty representatives and brought forward by the president, a Board commitment was made to come together ahead of their next scheduled meetings in the fall to consider this resolution as quickly as possible and to expedite a decision. 

As a Board, we acknowledge and are heartbroken by the trauma and suffering being experienced now in Gaza and Israel. We stand against that suffering but understand that the true power and complex answers lie within the political sphere—an arena that Pratt should generally not enter as an institution that upholds diversity and belonging, as well as academic and creative freedom. As a governing body responsible for the Institute’s financial well-being, the Board of Trustees must consider any kind of divestment carefully and cautiously, understanding the complexities of multiple moral claims and political views. Most importantly, we understand that our modest investment portfolio provides critical institutional support including funding scholarships and other essential resources to our students and faculty. 

Honoring our commitment to expedite this review, the Investment and Executive Committees held two special meetings in June. In response to the Senate resolution asking for transparency, the committees agreed to prepare an annual informational report representing the strategy of our investments and their performance. However, the Executive Committee, in its authority to execute on behalf of the entire Board, understanding its role and responsibilities as stated above, will not support Israel-specific divestment.

We must stress how seriously the committees worked to carry out our responsibilities and make these complex decisions with the urgency of the situation.


Gary Hattem, Chair of the Board
Mike Pratt, Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Investment Committee