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.