U finances should uphold our values

Daily Editorial Board

After months of controversy and debate, the Minnesota Student Association has passed a resolution urging the University of Minnesota to divest from corporations that profit from human rights abuse. 
At a meeting last month, MSA declined to vote on the original resolution, which named four specific companies and accused them of profiting from human rights abuse in Israel and Palestine. The specificity of that proposal’s language sparked heated debates about perceived anti-Semitism.
Both the divestment resolution’s proponents and its detractors, however, said the University should increase the transparency of its financial investments in order to prevent human rights abuse.
With all the attention paid to the University’s connection with companies operating in Israel and Palestine, we’re surprised no one has come forth to examine the school’s relationship with entities like the United States Department of Defense, which regularly provides funding for various University research projects. 
For example, in fiscal year 2014, the University experienced a jump in federal funding, with DOD funds increasing by 14 percent. That year, the College of Science and Engineering and the Medical School enjoyed the largest amount from such funding increases. 
We support divestment from human rights abuse, and we would like our school’s financial partnerships to reflect its concern for matters of academic and social responsibility. In order to for this to become a reality, we will need to look beyond Israel and Palestine in order to ensure that all of the University’s investments reflect its core values.