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Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s what you need to know.

When was the PIIAC created?

The PIIAC was established as a formal standing committee in 2014, when it considered the question of fossil fuel investments—and the board of trustees decided in 2017 to divest from thermal coal. However, the framework for evaluating investments has been in place for over 30 years and was key to the university’s divestment from companies doing business in South Africa in the 1980s and from tobacco companies in the 1990s.

Who are the PIIAC’s members?

PIIAC members include a broad cross-section of university stakeholders who, combined, represent the full breadth of the Johns Hopkins community. Committee members are selected jointly by the provost and the executive vice president for finance and administration and serve three-year terms. Find a full list of current PIIAC members here.

Who can submit proposals to the PIIAC?

Any member of the Johns Hopkins University community may submit a proposal.

Does the PIIAC consider every proposal it receives?

Yes. PIIAC members review proposals and decide whether to recommend them for further consideration. A proposal may not move beyond the PIIAC if the committee declines to recommend it, or a proposal may move through the full process and be considered by the board of trustees.

Who makes final decisions about divestments?

The board of trustees makes the final decision about divestments. The PIIAC reviews proposals and determines whether they merit further consideration. There are several steps in this process (PIIAC, subcommittee, Committee on Investments, full board of trustees), and each reviewing body votes to reject or recommend the proposal.

How long does the PIIAC’s review process take?

The PIIAC meets as needed, when proposals are submitted for consideration. The board subcommittee likewise meets on an ad hoc basis to review the PIIAC’s recommendations. The full Committee on Investments and the entire board of trustees meet quarterly, so the review process can take several months to over a year from start to finish. If necessary, the timeline may be expedited.

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