Penn Professors: School Must Divest from Tobacco

Penn's board of trustees will vote on whether to bar the university from investing in tobacco products next month.

In an open letter to the University posted on, five Penn professors urge the school to stop investing in companies that sell tobacco products.

The professors — Peter Conn, Chris Feudtner, Paul N. Lanken, Diana Robertson and Michael Weisberg — go through the obvious arguments about tobacco and cigarette smoking’s health effects and also note that most school’s of Penn’s size and reputation have divested their endowments from holdings in tobacco companies. Harvard did it in 1990!

More than 630 faculty members have signed a petition asking Penn to divest from tobacco. Penn’s board of trustees will vote on this policy at a meeting beginning June 19th.