Approved by the: Student Senate November 29, 2007
Administration - February 25, 2008*
Board of Regents - no action required

* The University of Minnesota supports the underlying goals and principles of the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP) and has for many years been an advocate for safe, decent working conditions for those who manufacture University-licensed apparel. Through the Trademark Licensee Code of Conduct, the University expresses its commitment to conducting its business affairs in a socially responsible and ethical manner.

The Workers Right Consortium (WRC) submitted the DSP to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for an opinion regarding the legality f the DSP under the U.S. antitrust law. It is the University's understanding that the DOJ has informed the WRC that it has concerns about the legality of the DSP. It is also the University's understanding that there is considerable debate among a large constituency of WRC members regarding particular terms and provisions of the DSP. Consequently, the University has charged an internal working group (including students, faculty, administrators, and other members of the campus community) to:

- review and assess the proposed Designated Suppliers Program in light of the Department of Justice finding;
- identify and assess other options for addressing issues of policy enforcement with the WRC Code of Conduct;
- advise on the adoption of a broader University Vendor Code of Conduct that would apply to all vendors;
- review the University's existing Trademark Licensee Code of Conduct and recommend any necessary changes or updates; and
- recommend how the University should move forward in each of these areas.

The University anticipates, and looks forward to, receiving the working group recommendations in fall.

Designated Supplier Program (DSP) Resolution
November 2007

WHEREAS, the University of Minnesota must unequivocally insist upon safe, decent working conditions for those who manufacture University-licensed apparel; and

WHEREAS, academic institutions, together with international organizations, the United States government, human rights groups, and business and labor organizations must work together on concrete steps to ameliorate the dire conditions endured by garment workers in many countries around the world; and

WHEREAS, the University has adopted a Code of Conduct establishing standards of manufacturing for licensees producing University apparel, and affiliated with the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) as a means of monitoring this production; and

WHEREAS, the provisions of the current Code of Conduct are not being adhered to by licensees, as evidenced by the December 2006 WRC Licensee Factory Report listing of the Hermosa factory of El Salvador as a producer of Minnesota clothing; and

WHEREAS, the University has been invited by the WRC to partake in a Working Group for development of the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP), an initiative designed to address problems of policy enforcement; and

WHEREAS, a central goal of the Working Group has been to identify key stakeholder concerns about the DSP and to develop ways to address these concerns in order to enhance the effectiveness of the program; and

WHEREAS, participation in the Working Group sends a strong message to licensees, students, and the community that the University is active in raising the labor standards of its licensed apparel manufacture; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the University of Minnesota shall accept the invitation to the Designated Suppliers Program Working Group, and move to adopt the Designated Suppliers Program to ensure that licensees are adhering to the standards set forth by the University.


This resolution was approved by the Morris Campus Student Association on February 19, 2007.


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