A second call for transparency

Ashley Kline

In addition to transparency regarding tuition, transparency about Kent State’s investments is also necessary. In a personal quest to attain information regarding Kent State’s investments, I have found that information is not easily available. I have been in contact with the Financial Affairs Office and after a few weeks of no response or delayed response, I was finally told that the university invests its monies through a number of different fund managers.

I was told that I could have access to the fund managers the university hands its money over to, but that the Financial Affairs Office does not know much beyond that. To be more specific, a portion of the e-mail I received from a University Counsel associate read, “on any given day, we have no knowledge or records of what financial instruments the University’s monies are invested in, be they stocks, bonds or other investment vehicles.”

How is it possible that the university’s Financial Affairs Office has “no knowledge” of the types of investments the university is putting its money into? Students put money into this university year after year one way or another. They have a right to know how that money is being used by the university to make more money. It is inexcusable to be told that there is “no knowledge” of how the university is investing its money.

My inquiry began to determine if the university I have attended for three years is investing its money into stocks (ultimately, corporations) that perpetuate systems of inequalities and exploitation.

Since the search for answers has become more difficult, this is my call for more transparency from the university and a call to students to put the pressure on the university to be more transparent on issues – whether it is tuition, investment, or other issues.

Ashley Kline is a senior applied conflict management major.