Monday, July 26, 2021

On July 14th, the University of Iowa Staff Council passed a resolution titled “Resolution of the University of Iowa Faculty Senate and Staff Council urging FRIC and RFIC to ask TIAA to Address Transparency and Sustainability Issues Related to Rural Land Grabs". This resolution was voted on after the council heard presentations from the UI Presidential Sustainability Charter Committee and TIAA/University Human Resources at the June Staff Council Meeting. The resolution was passed by 95 percent of voting councilors. Faculty Council and Faculty Senate had previously passed this resolution as well. 

The UI Presidential Sustainability Charter Committee drafted this resolution to ask TIAA to strengthen its commitments to sustainability and human rights, and address transparency issues related to the company’s farmland portfolio. This portfolio includes farmland and other land holdings that may be involved in deforestation and land-grabbing practices. These issues are most notably in Brazil, but the resolution includes concern about farmland in the United States as well. In the presentation by TIAA/UI Human Resources in June, it was noted that the land holdings are a small percentage of TIAA's investments and that few employees are in the specific fund where the land portfolio is housed. 

To read the full resolution as well as view documents from UI Presidential Sustainability Charter Committee and TIAA/ UI Human Resources, click here