MIT report recommends against cutting ties with Saudi Arabia

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has no “compelling case” to cut ties with Saudi Arabia following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a report released by the school on Thursday.

Associate Provost Richard Lester, announced the recommendation in accordance with a request put forward for the review by MIT President Rafael Reif.

Lester’s report was based on input from students, faculty and alumni, along with outside experts on Saudi Arabia.

It is expected that MIT President Reif to make a final decision later on.

According to an Associated Press report, MIT has received at least $4 million from Saudi Aramco the last decade in funding research.

Also Lester, who led the review, said none of the institutions MIT works with had any role in Khashoggi’s death. Cutting ties would curb important research, he said.

“These organizations are supporting important research and activities at MIT on terms that honor our principles and comply with our policies,” he said in the report. “They are also providing critical resources to support the education of outstanding Saudi students and women scientists and engineers, who will surely be in the vanguard of social change in that country.”

MIT is among dozens of US universities that have received funding from the Saudi government, including the University of California, Berkeley, which has a $6 million contract to develop nanomaterials that can be used to support renewable energy.