Write a Letter

Write a Letter to the Regents or Janet Napolitano

The UC’s Chief Investment Office announced they would divest of direct holdings in coal companies and companies dealing in tar sands! While a substantial victory, this decision is not yet policy–meaning at any point the office may renege on it and recommence investments in coal and tar sands. The decision also includes nothing on oil nor natural gas. 

Help us let the Regents know that they cannot claim to be a part of the solution while remaining a part of the problem. Tell them to #DivestTheRest by sending a letter and/or an email! You can even send one a day! Here are some tips for writing an effective letter to President Napolitano or to the Board of Regents.


A letter to President Napolitano or the UC Regents should include your own address, UC campus and year of graduation, and the date. It should be addressed as follows:

President Janet Napolitano
Office of the President
University of California
1111 Franklin St., 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607


Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Regents
1111 Franklin St., 12th floor
Oakland, CA 94607

Emails should be addressed to President@ucop.edu or regentsoffice@ucop.edu.


A handwritten letter: the best way

A handwritten letter is particularly effective because it is counted as a unique comment. A handwritten letter in your own words has special power, even if it’s very short. If you need ideas, consider borrowing from the form letter or sample letter below.

A printed letter: second best

Sign and mail our short form letter, which you can display in a printable file by clicking one of these links:

To President Napolitano

To UC Regents

The body of the form letter appears below. Adding a short personal note to the form letter alongside your signature, if only one sentence, will make the letter doubly effective.

Alternatively, compose, print, and mail your own letter. If you compose your own, consider borrowing from the sample letter below the form letter.

An email letter: third best

An email isn’t as effective as a letter sent by regular mail, but it is counted and sometimes read. You can compose your own email or use the form letter below as an email. If you compose your own, consider borrowing from the sample letter below the form letter.

Form letter

Dear ________,

I am writing you today as a University of California _____ who is deeply concerned about climate change.  I urge you to take a bold stand and move UC’s endowment beyond fossil fuels.  We must withdraw our support from an industry that is crippling the planet.

I am pleased that UC has committed to strong sustainability goals, especially with the recent decision by the Chief Investment Officer to divest from coal and tar sands. However, divesting from all fossil fuel companies and making that decision official UC policy would further strengthen the university’s commitment to this mission.  It would affirm that we practice what we preach and that UC students’ educations would not come at the expense of the world in which they plan to use them.

Remaining invested in an industry fueling climate chaos and environmental injustice runs contrary to the University of California’s stated values, goals, and commitment to climate leadership.  Please consider the futures of the students you are educating. Divest from fossil fuels and explore reallocating divested funds toward climate solutions.

Yours sincerely,

Sample letter

Dear President Napolitano or UC Regents,

As a graduate of UC _____, I know firsthand the high quality of education provided to students. I appreciate not only the education I received, but also the values that ______ instilled in me—a critical perspective on the world and a focus on social justice.  These values have caused me to be deeply concerned about climate change and the resulting environmental injustices.

While I applaud the University of California for the recent decision by the Chief Investment Officer to divest from coal and tar sands, I am troubled that the university continues to invest its endowment—and therefore alumni donations—in oil and natural gas companies, and has yet to make its recent divestment decision official UC policy.  Extraction and consumption of fossil fuels pollute the natural environment, deteriorate health, and exacerbate climate change. Though we all feel these impacts, they disproportionately affect poor communities and communities of color, many of which have been working against the fossil fuel industry for decades.

Unfortunately, efforts to transition away from fossil fuels have been hindered by the industry’s money, political connections, and tacit acceptance from institutions like ours. This is where UC can play a role by publicly ending its investments in fossil fuels. A mass divestment movement can delegitimize these corporations in the court of public opinion, aiding local communities’ efforts to reclaim their land, health, and economies. Many leaders in the environmental community have joined students on hundreds of campuses across the country in calling for divestment. UC students have already raised this issue on campus, giving UC the opportunity to be a leader in this blossoming movement.

Reliance on fossil fuels is an environmental and human rights crisis that demands bold action. I ask that the University of California divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry.

Sincerely yours,

Your Name

Your address

UC campus and year of graduation