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I love Mechanical Engineers

While there are so many reasons, the latest is because the mechanical engineering faculty at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's protested, in a 15-3 vote, the institutionís plan to start an engineering department in Saudi Arabia. According the LA Times, staff and students, including the vast majority of the Mechanical Engineering faculty, ďcontend that the university -- which prides itself on the number of female engineers it graduates -- should steer clear of a kingdom where women's rights are restricted and a fledgling engineering program would be open only to men."


Wow! What integrity to turn down funds in this crummy economy. The LA Times article has an interesting comment about the parallel between divestment from South Africa and this situation.
There's a related story from this week's NY Times:
"US Universities Join Saudis in Partnerships,"where engineering depts at UT Austin, UC Berkeley and Stanford are partnering with new King Abdullah University, receiving millions to develop curriculum.
Unlike Jubail University, King Abdullah U plans coeducational science/engineering majors. I hope that promise is kept. If the partnership does well, while being fair to all students, maybe other universities in the region will feel pressure to change.

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