Steps of Proxy Voting
In January of 2012, the Carleton Board of Trustees approved a Proxy Voting Preapproval Policy which enables CRIC to act on resolutions without requesting trustees' approval for several categories of resolution.
The CRIC is planning to follow these steps during the academic year in voting its proxy ballots:
- Identify values of the Carleton community. There are several ways to accomplish this, including examining published statements of values, inviting groups to speak at committee meetings, holding a public forum, and examing widely-accepted actions undertaken by the college (such as construction of the windmill or removal of Coca-Cola from campus).
Winter and Spring Terms
- Cross-check Carleton's endowment holdings with the Investor Responsibility Research Center's research on proxy ballots to identify those companies with shareholder resolutions pertaining to our defined community values.
- Divide the research burden between committee member, issue-by-issue rather than company-by-company (often the same shareholder resolution is filed with several companies, so the former option is more efficient). The CRIC Kids will also help research.
- Presentations are made by each researcher to the committee about each proxy ballot. The committee then votes yes, no, or abstain on each resolution.
- A final committee report is to be written, briefly justifying each vote the committee recommends. It is here that Carleton's values are given as reasons for the committee's stance on each shareholder resolution.
- Attend the Board of Trustees meeting and make a formal presentation of the report.
- The Board of Trustees makes the final decision on each ballot aside from those categories of resolutions which the trustees had already preapproved in the Proxy Voting Preapproval Policy.
- The ballots are cast by the Investment Office.
- CRIC writes a letter to each corporation whose ballot has been cast, explaining the reasons for our vote. This leads remarkably often to dialog between CRIC and high officials in the corporation.
- With research and a little luck, we can create positive change in corporations!