Board tells 3 Arizona universities to sell Russian holdings

Mar 7, 2022, 10:11 PM | Updated: 10:20 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — The board that oversees Arizona’s three public universities on Monday ordered their presidents to sell any Russian investments they hold as quickly as possible because of ongoing war it is waging against Ukraine.

The Arizona Board of Regents also voted to exclude Russian investments from the board’s retirement plan.

The board condemned “in the strongest possible terms Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine and apparent targeting of civilian populations,” Chair Lyndel Manson said in a statement. “With today’s action, the board repudiates Putin’s aggression and ensures Arizona’s public university enterprise divests of any Russian assets.”

The number of Ukrainians that have fled their country since Russia invaded reached 1.7 million on Monday, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency. Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.

Presidents of the Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University told the board they have halted programs their schools have with universities in Russia and that their foundations are selling any Russian assets they hold.

There’s not much cash invested in Russia. The ASU Foundation has about $2.3 million in Russian assets, just .05% of its portfolio. NAU’s foundation has about 40% of its assets in non-U.S. stocks, but just .01% of those were in Russian firms. And the UofA’s foundation has $25 million in emerging market funds, of which 6% is invested in Russia.

Deputy state Treasurer Mark Swenson said the state’s investments are entirely in U.S. equities. Treasurer Kimberly Yee last week asked all state vendors to stop financing any Russian oil deals.

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Board tells 3 Arizona universities to sell Russian holdings