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UT Avoids Wave Of College Protests Targeting Oil Investments
If a wave of protest is sweeping the country targeting college investments in the oil biz, it hasn't hit the 40 acres.
University of Texas student Josh Smethie sees energy as necessary, “if you don't produce energy you can't cook food, you won't have air conditioning. There's lots of this that you have that you won't necessarily have without energy."
A protest on campus might not be that effective since the people who need to hear it are actually downtown. UTIMCO — the University of Texas Investment Management Company — manages a $28 billion portfolio for the UT System. Right now the investments generate $1 billion a year for the UT System schools.
CEO Brian Zimmerman says it’s their policy not use their investments for social or political goals. Zimmerman says, "Investment returns would suffer. There's no free lunch. So fewer resources would be available for scholarships, financial aid, faculty salaries, facilities."
That money would have to be made-up elsewhere, so the quiet West Mall at UT could fill with angry taxpayers protesting that their taxes were raised.
By Fred Cantu