Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Saudi National Day - Happy KAUST Inauguration

September 23rd is Saudi national day - and a fitting day on which to officially inaugurate the founding of the King Abdallah University of Science and Technology. Within its walls, the university has similar, if not identical social rules to that of Saudi Aramco, the Saudi oil company that is managing the university. Women can drive, and men and women mix on campus and in the classroom. I think the press has been paying more attention to this than to the academics of the place. I have to say it intrigues me, but having visited Aramco's Dhahran headquarters and known friends who lived and worked there, I'm confident that it will be an amazing place. I hope they can transplant the Aramco ethic of behavior to the new university campus.