Chronicle of Higher Education: MIT-Saudi Partnerships

Organizations of all types are reviewing partnerships with Saudi Arabia since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was among the first universities to review ties, including $25 million for MIT research from Saudi Aramco. Gifts from Saudi donors account for about 40 percent of overall spending in recent years, reports Steven Johnson for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The recommendation by MIT’s associate provost for international activities is that severance of ties would not end repression in Saudi Arabia and that funded programs must comply with MIT policies. “The Khashoggi crisis broke out as MIT was considering a ‘significant expansion’ of its relationships with Saudi Arabia,” notes Johnson. “Despite the country’s illiberal domestic policies and involvement in the Yemeni civil war, MIT officials hoped to be a part of what they saw as the kingdom’s steps toward reform.” Universities insist that donors do not control research, though monitoring awareness and self-censorship among recipients could be a challenge. MIT is recommending avoidance of “large overseas engagements that require the physical presence” of staff. – YaleGlobal

Chronicle of Higher Education: MIT-Saudi Partnerships

Saudi Arabia is a major donor for US university research; MIT and other institutions question if ending partnerships will stop or support repression
Steven Johnson
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Read the article from the Chronicle of Higher Education  about MIT assessing its partnershp with Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Read advice from David Bach of the Yale School of Management on how businesses should weigh the risks and costs to reputation of partnerships with Saudi Arabia.

Copyright © 2018 The Chronicle of Higher Education

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