You are here

columbia university

Does the University of Texas invest in private prisons?

University of Texas alumni staged a sit-in at the office of the dean at the McCombs school of business.
University of Texas alumni staged a sit-in at the office of the dean at the McCombs school of business.
Columbia University this month became the first college in the U.S. to divest from private prisons, as the result of the student organizing campaign, Columbia Prison Divest.

Could the University of Texas be next for a divestment campaign? It's possible. 

According to their publicly available filings, the UT Investment Management Corporation indirectly invests in the two largest private prison companies through its more than 18,000 shares in the Vanguard REIT Exchange Traded Fund. (REIT stands for Real Estate Investment Trust.) In turn, this fund in has nearly $300 million invested in the Corrections Corporation of America and more than $200 million invested in the GEO Group. 

This wouldn't be the first time the University of Texas has been at the center of controversy over university ties to private prison companies. UT students, faculty, and alumni called out the McCombs School of Business in December over namesake Red McCombs' deal with CCA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to open the nation's largest family detention camp since Japanese internment. The family detention camp in Dilley, Texas, was leased to CCA and ICE by his real estate firm, Koontz McCombs.

Students, alumni and their supporters staged a sit-in at the off of the dean of the McCombs School of Busness demanding a meeting. About 50 UT faculty members also signed a letter to University President William Powers asking him to put pressue on McCombs to reconsider the deal. 

In December, news broke that McCombcs had sold his stake in the firm. 

Blogging Categories: 
Subscribe to columbia university