Cal Poly-Saudi deal kaput

November 10, 2009

By KAREN VELIE

A controversial proposal to partner California Polytechnic State University with a Saudi Arabian university has been abandoned by Saudi officials, according to an article in the Mustang Daily.

Many opponents claim the projected program excluded women, Jewish people, and homosexuals from participation because of Saudi laws and customs. Others contend the plan could end up hurting Cal Poly financially.

For almost two years, efforts to ink the contentious plan have been rejected by attorneys from both Cal Poly and Jubial University.

Under the terms of the initial agreement, Cal Poly would receive $5.9 million to cover the start-up costs. Those funds would subsidize salaries for visiting professors; travel; communication and publication costs; and permanent equipment expenses.

In late 2008, the Saudis returned a fundamentally changed contract with what was described as insurmountable obstacles.

Among the problem areas were the Saudis’ demands that payments would only be made after tasks were completed which would have left Cal Poly on the hook for hundreds of thousands in up-front costs. In addition, Saudi courts would handle all financial disputes.

In June, a contract rewritten to protect Cal Poly from possible financial losses was rejected by the Saudis who informed Cal Poly the deal was off, according to the Mustang Daily.

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5 Comments

  1. cheseburger says:

    Roger,”Sometimes one just has to cut bait and walk away.” don’t do this in real water!, lead poisoning, hooks for children toe’s? ‘Walk away from your trash?” no that’s not the Chese’s conclusion, clean it up first then walk/run away! And take a long hot shower! Oh, Jefferson also stated, we need a revolution every one hundred years, just to keep the Government in check! Deals with Saudi’s,, reality check? We are at war! Roger do a little research and find out how really,,,, on our side, they are?

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. cheseburger says:

    Roger,”Sometimes one just has to cut bait and walk away.” don’t do this in real water!, lead poisoning, hooks for children toe’s? ‘Walk away from your trash?” no that’s not the Chese’s conclusion, clean it up first then walk/run away! And take a long hot shower! Oh, Jefferson also stated we need a revolution every one hundred years, just to keep the Government in check! Deals with Saudi’s,, reality check? We are at war! Roger do a little research and find out how really on our side, they are?

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  3. rogerfreberg says:

    A bad idea no matter how much time and money has been invested is still a bad idea. Sometimes one just has to cut bait and walk away. Thomas Jefferson once said that on issues of fashion basically go with the flow, but on issues of principle stand like a rock. The mission of the CSU is to educate California’s kids first.

    Retaliation? PleEEease, they need us to buy their oil , because the local yokums here won’t let us work for energy independence.

    Cal Poly needs a change.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  4. cheseburger says:

    Think there could be retaliation by the Saudies? Hate to see that! Think, time invested, deal gone bad, always pisses me off! Send us a bill? Or?

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  5. Karen Velie says:

    By: Rewind on 11/11/09 [Delete]
    Money is not evil hotdog. The LOVE of money is, tho.

    By: RaoulDuke on 11/11/09 [Delete]
    I get these same letters from the middle east asking for money or my bank account numbers so they can deposit the millions for a project I did.

    By: hotdog on 11/10/09 [Delete]
    Right on Paperboy, but the answer to your question is, of course, that root of all evil-MONEY.

    By: Karen-Velie on 11/10/09 [Delete]
    I will be on the Dave Congalton Show today at 5:30 p.m. to discuss this issue. Turn your radio to 920AM or listen live at 920kvec.com.

    By: paperboy on 11/10/09 [Delete]
    I have to agree with Citizen. Cal Poly has no business negotiating let alone entering into contracts by itself with a foreign country, after all, the CSU system belongs to the people of the State of California and Warren Baker has no business negotiating on OUR behalf.
    It would be interesting to see the Saudi’s terms that made the whole thing fall apart. Could they have included public flogging, stoning or beheading for perceived offenses?
    And why in the world would any modern American man — or especially woman — even want to go live and work in that repressive, fascist society in the first place?

    By: hotdog on 11/10/09 [Delete]
    rogerfreberg pretty well said it all. I think the fundamental issue is that this saga should never have gone so far-the endemic conflicts would have been obvious to a 10 year old.
    I wonder what sort of people were promoting and evaluating this thing, and ignoring obvious problems that would have eventually killed it. I wonder if Baker told them to ‘make it work’, without any sensible thinking.
    Perhaps its time to review the bloated salaries of those involved in this mess, and the time/money spent on a hopeless and doomed project.

    By: rogerfreberg on 11/10/09 [Delete]

    There are several lessons to be learned here:

    1) ETHICS — Public institutions need to be held to higher standards and those who work and represent them must be beyond reproach. Our academic leadership must not fear oversight.

    2)TRANSPARENCY — The CSU (including Cal Poly) must be open to the concept of full disclosure in all areas of their various dealings, because only in this way can we ensure that accountability is maintained.

    3) ABOVE THE LAW? — No public institution is an island or above the law. Cal Poly must follow our laws, regulations and restrictions in all of their activities outside of the United States. It is reasonable that Cal Poly should respect the practices and customs of other countries; however, when conflict arises, Cal Poly must follow our laws, rules and regs.

    4) EXTERNAL REVIEW — No project like the ill fated Jubial situation should have ever gone so far before external review…. and a real internal review. Reviews are an important way of avoiding problems just like these… thanks to Laura many years ago, Cal Poly has a system for reviewing internal student and faculty research projects involving real people (IRB — Internal Review Board)… a second pair of eyes helps keep mistakes and temptations at bay.

    Lastly, I would like to thank the many whistle blowers for bringing this project to light. Maybe if we had a few more whistle blowers the last time, American Universities like Columbia wouldn’t have done business with Nazi Germany as long as they did.

    And a special thanks to the Cal Coast News for continuing to have the courage to go forth with discussions like Jubail, when others are — frankly — too compromised.

    thanks to all!

    Roger Freberg

    By: Citizen on 11/10/09 [Delete]
    Cal Poly, as a state institution and part of a state organization (CSU), had no business negotiating by itself with the Saudi government for anything.

    By: Al on 11/10/09 [Delete]
    Good News finally.

    By: Scarlet on 11/10/09 [Delete]
    Yikes! And this was all Mohammed Noori was going to have to show for his failed term as dean. Now what?

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Comments are closed.