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July 31, 2007

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WHOI Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes

In attendance:
David Gaylord, Amelie Scheltema, Tim Verslycke, Sheri White, Bernhard Peucker-Ehernbrink, Shona Vitelli, Beth Andrews, Annette Hynes, Fiamma Straneo, Mary Lardie, Di Jin

Julia Westwater, Jin Lin (Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee), Tina Betti (EEO Officer) Larry Madin (Director of Research), Amy Bower (PO)

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia

Amelie was concerned about teaming up with a country that might discriminate based on gender, religion, etc. She met with Larry Madin to discuss it. Larry has come to this meeting to talk with the DivComm about it.

Larry provided an overview:

WHOI was approached by Frank Press (a WHOI Trustee) who works with the Washington Advisory Group. They were hired by KAUST which is being founded (near Jedda?) and is looking for contacts with other world-class universities (including in the US).King Abdullah dedicated this project to increase science and technology education of its citizens and want to recruit faculty and students from all over the world. KAUST will have graduate studies in Science and Technology. They intend for the university to be international in scope and have already addressed the concerns of equality. They see no need to worry about discrimination of visiting students or researchers. In fact, the only concerns they voiced was how KAUST visitors would be treated when they visit a US institution like WHOI. They originally targeted 4 main areas:

1)Materials science

2)Information technology/computer science

3)Energy & environment


They will add ocean sciences. They have a $10 billion endowment + $4 billion for construction (including marine facilities and ships). They will open end of 2009.

20 years ago a relationship between WHOI and a place in Saudi Arabia ended because Jewish WHOI scientists were excluded.

WHOI signed an MOU with KAUST in April 2007. The MOU includes a clause on discrimination.

Nine WHOI people (all male) went for a site visit in June. They only met and spoke with one woman. Amy Bower met with the KAUST people here at WHOI. She did not notice or experience discrimination.

The agreement with KAUST could bring WHOI close to $20 million in funding over 3 years for scientists to do research.

Diversity Day
August 15th:Speakers at 3:00-4:30 pm followed by a street fair till 6pm.

3:15 pm - Jamie Hoyt (Harvard University) will speak first. Ben Gutierrez (USGS) is in contact with him.

3:55pm - Robert Nadaeu (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) will speak regarding disaster preparedness and preventative measures that are being undertaken to help minority and low income groups that may be selectively affected

4:30 pm - Street Festival begins. Includes caterer Patrick Wooten (Plymouth, MA) who was an evacuee from New Orleans who will bring Cajun cuisine to the Cape. Claudia Flores (USGS) designed the survey - it is longer and also includes a review of Diversity Day festivities so that improvement can be made based on participant comments. Buttons and flyers were redesigned by Kara Ryan (MBL).

Ready to go live.

Puzzle logo selected (but with a less US-centric earth view)

Next Meeting
August 28th, 2:00 pm in the Village

Last updated: May 3, 2010

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