Does anyone remember how South Africa was shunned in the era of racial apartheid? It was simply unthinkable that a major university would enter into a deal with such a government. In fact universities were successfully pressured into selling their shares in companies that merely did business with the apartheid regime.
But when it comes to the gender apartheid of Saudi Arabia, it's a different story. Maybe it's the amount of money the Saudis have? But how do we explain the silence of the feminists when we learn that: The University of California at Berkeley is working on a partnership deal with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the Contra Costa Times reported today.
Under the arrangement, which the Times says could be made final as early as Tuesday, Berkeley faculty members would collaborate on research and help the Saudi university hire professors.
Some faculty members at Berkeley are upset about the pending deal, concerned that the $10-billion university will discriminate against women and others and limit academic freedom. Their worries are echoed by critics of another pending deal, between California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and Saudi Arabia, to start an engineering program at Jubail University College there. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Cal Poly would receive $5.9-million over five years to create an engineering curriculum, build laboratories, and train teachers, but only men would qualify to take or teach engineering classes at the school.
The indifference of campus activists is puzzling, to say the least. Somehow I doubt that they are concerned about securing energy supplies. Maybe they just Assume that Barack Obama will fix everything by sprinkling his fairy dust?Hat tip: Clarice Feldman