Governor Polis Urges Institutions of Higher Education To Examine Divestiture of Russian State-Owned Assets

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

DENVER — Governor Jared Polis wrote a letter this week to Colorado’s Institutions of Higher Education urging them to examine ways to divest from Russian state-owned assets.

“I know that we share our condemnation of Russia’s actions and will move together to ensure that Colorado’s dollars are not used to support the Russian government. I ask that your institution: (1) completely divest your endowment of any Russian-owned assets; (2) terminate all contracts with the Russian-government; and (3) terminate all grants in which the Russian-government or Russian institutions of higher education are the primary beneficiary,” Governor Polis wrote. 

“We will stand on the side of freedom and proudly support a democratic and independent Ukraine. War, violence, and chaos threaten the very foundations of the global economy and our national security. Colorado will not turn its head. We will take affirmative actions to support Ukrainians and hold Russia accountable. We hope that these actions are short-lived and that the great nation of Russia soon  returns to being proud and peaceful, and your actions can hasten that day,” Governor Polis continued.

Last week, Governor Polis took action to direct state agencies to review relevant State contracts to determine if any are with Russian state-owned companies directly or as subcontractors, and directed state agencies to work to terminate such contracts if Russian state-owned companies are found to be contractors or subcontractors and ensure that future procurement efforts analyze any possible connections with Russian state-owned companies. 

Following Governor Polis’s actions last week, the University of Colorado is already taking steps to liquidate its investments in Russian companies, according to reports. Additionally, Colorado PERA quickly divested $7.2M from a Russian bank and the Governor urged the complete divestiture of the PERA Trust Fund from any and all Russian state-owned institutions. 

Colorado is also severing diplomatic ties with Russia and is no longer recognizing the consular mission and is ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees.