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Princeton Faculty Seeks Divestment of Gun Company Stakes

Princeton University faculty members have asked that the school divest any holdings of gun companies from its endowment, in the aftermath of the shootings last month in Newtown, Connecticut.

It isn’t clear that the Ivy League school’s endowment, valued at $17 billion as of June 2012, even owns such companies. Princeton doesn’t discuss specifics of its fund’s portfolio, Martin Mbugua, a spokesman for the school in Princeton, New Jersey, said in an interview.

Princeton received a petition on Jan. 7, Mbugua said. The Daily Princetonian student newspaper reported on Jan. 6 that three professors, Simon Morrison, Caryl Emerson and Marie-Helene Huet co-wrote the petition. The professors didn’t immediately respond to e-mails and phone messages seeking comment.

Princeton’s policy since 1970 is to consider divestment requests through the university resources committee, Mbugua said.

The group met today, and there was no substantive discussion of the petition, Mbugua said in an e-mail. It will be on the agenda for the next committee meeting in February.

The school’s endowment was the fourth largest in higher education in the year ended June 2011, according to a survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute.

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