Phi Beta Cons

Will Petrodollars Trump Protest?

The Saudis have made a multi-million-dollar deal with two California campuses to have the colleges create and run educational programs in a new university on the Red Sea, writes Inside Higher Ed.

Will U.S.-style academic freedom and nondiscrimination be respected in a place where educational institutions legally discriminate against women, gay people and Jews? “We expect the diversity principles to be central, to be honored, in every arrangement the university makes,” responded Barrie Thorne, chair of the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at Berkeley and a professor of sociology. “If they aren’t being honored, they could well expect protest, but nothing to protest yet.”
Perhaps such high-minded protectors of diversity will diligently oversee and vocally speak out against the abuse of academic freedom on the Red Sea campus. On the other hand, it could be that bounteous funding will vitiate their will to protest.

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