Correspondence between Yale and Spokesperson for Italian Asbestos Victims

 
All letters are available, in full, via the links at the bottom of the page.
 
Letter 1 - September 25, 2013 - Pro bono counsel for Italian asbestos victims group, AFeVA, writes to all trustees of the Yale Corporation.  Information about Schmidheiny's trial and the historical facts about the human health toll and the environmental catastrophe in Casale Monferrato is provided to Yale.  AFeVA requests that Yale release documents pertaining to Schmidheiny's degree and asks Yale to review and revoke the award.
 
Letter 2 - October 30, 2013 - Yale Vice-President and Secretary, Kimberly Goff-Crews, replies on behalf of The Yale Corporation and produces a copy of the official award citation from 1996.  Yale refuses to reconsider the award and states that "[a]fter a careful review" Yale has no record of having received money from Schmidheiny, Eternit or his Avina Foundation.
 
Letter 3 - November 7, 2013 - Counsel for AFeVA replies to Vice-President Goff-Crews and expresses AFeVA's disappointment in Yale's refusal to grapple with the issue.  Historical examples of other institutions revoking honorary degrees are provided to Yale.  Strong moral and ethical considerations are given to Yale to justify review of the Schmidheiny award.  AFeVA asks Yale to put together a committee of impartial expert faculty members to review the matter from a fresh perspective and advise Yale.
 
Letter 4 - December 9, 2013 - Counsel for AFeVA writes to V.P. Goff-Crews since no response had been received to the November 7th letter.  Two Yale Press Releases from 1996 and 1997 were discovered that confirmed Schmidheiny's foundation, Avina, provided "major project support" to Yale around 1996 and 1997.
 
Letter 5 - December 13, 2013 - Yale V.P. Goff-Crews replies and apologizes for providing incorrect information about Avina's contributions to Yale.  Yale, in fact, discovered a third contribution (in 1995, the year before the honorary degree) when they went back to double-check their records.  Yale still refuses to revisit the award and reiterates the language of the 1996 degree citation, noting that the revocation of an honorary degree would be "unprecedented" at Yale and that nothing "subsequent to the award of the degree call into question the essential information upon which the Committee and Corporation acted."
 
Letter 6 - January 14, 2014 - Counsel for AFeVA writes to V.P. Goff-Crews and notes all of the local, national and international media attention that the matter has received, including Yale's involvement and refusal to act.  Other independent voices of solidarity are noted, including Yale's own Professor Thomas Pogge who, while not taking a stand on the merits of AFeVA's ultimate request, agrees that there is enough new information for Yale to form an expert faculty committee.  Counsel asks pointed questions about what was and was not "essential information" on which the degree was awarded in 1996 and invites Yale representatives to a meeting to discuss the matter.
 
Letter 7 - January 30, 2014 - Yale V.P. Goff-Crews still refuses to grapple with the serious issues and new information and asks AFeVA to take Yale's refusal as final.
Ċ
Christopher Sellers,
May 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
Ċ
Christopher Sellers,
May 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
Ċ
Christopher Sellers,
May 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
Ċ
Christopher Sellers,
May 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
Ċ
Christopher Sellers,
May 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
Ċ
Christopher Sellers,
May 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
Ċ
Christopher Sellers,
May 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
Comments