Pitzer directors Fairbairn and Weinholtz resign in May 2021
Pitzer College board of directors will see a significant reshuffle at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year as two trustees retire and three new members join the board.
Vice-chairman Robert Fairbairn and Michael Weinholtz will step down from the board in May 2021, with the board serving for eight years. Jonathan Graham PZ ’82 and Gulnar Vaswani joined the board recently, according to a declaration by the college. They will be joined by recently elected trustee Derek Mitchell, who is the CEO of Partners in School Innovation and a director of the California Academy of Sciences.
Graham previously served on the board of directors from 1997 to 2011 and is currently Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Amgen, a US biopharmaceutical company.
“We are delighted to welcome [Graham] back to provide both his familiarity with Pitzer and his wisdom as we invest more in science, ”the release read.
Vaswani joined the board last fall and is a diversity and inclusion consultant, social impact advocate, board advisor and executive coach to CEOs, the statement said. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Diversity List Award from the Zubin Foundation in Hong Kong.
Fairbairn’s position as vice president of BlackRock – the world’s largest investment management firm – has made him a controversial figure for many Pitzer students in recent years. The company has purchased The actions of the GEO group, one of the biggest operators of private prisons in the United States and owner of a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Center in Adelanto, California.
When a Pitzer student submitted a manifesto to the college art gallery criticized Fairbairn by name on most of its pages end of February, Pitzer rejected the article, citing community guidelines that prohibited directly appointing a community member, according to past TSL coverage. The decision was later reversed by the college on March 4.
In 2019, a message painted on Pitzer’s free wall accused Fairbairn of taking advantage of “concentration camps”. It was soon repainted, according to past TSL coverage.