New York (Jan. 27)
– The American Jewish Committee has been assured by University of Washington officials that their recently authorized exchange program with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulazis University includes a viable, non-discriminatory clause that, if not adhered to, would nullify the agreement between the two universities.
According to Arthur Abramson, AJCommittee Seattle Area director, “In discussions with University of Washington officials, a clause was included that prohibits the Saudis from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, and/or national origin. An ‘oversight committee’ has been set up to insure that all clauses of the contract are adhered to, although we would have preferred that individuals from outside the University’s medical school structure were included as members of this committee.”
The university’s Board of Regents, which recently approved the affiliation between the two universities to develop a sizable medical facility in Saudi Arabia, noted that should the Saudis violate or not approve the anti-discrimination clause, the contract would be terminated.
Terms of the $3.6 million contract, due to expire June 30, 1981, but which could be the beginning of a 10-year affiliation between the two schools, will allow the universities to develop pilot of programs in faculty development, medical education, and medical research.
The text of the non-discriminatory clause in the agreement reads: “The University of Washington subscribes to a policy of equal opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, ethnicity, religion or national origin. In carrying out the provisions of this Agreement, both parties agree to comply with this policy, and neither institution shall impose criteria for exchange of scholars, administrators, or students which would violate these principles of non-discrimination.”