Letter to the editor: EWU professor responds to Saudi funding report

By Jeffrey Corkill, Letter to the Editor

Jeffrey Corkill is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at EWU. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Easterner, its staff members or Eastern Washington University.

Dear Editor,

As a faculty member at EWU, I was appalled to read in the Spokesman-Review that EWU has a policy of balancing its budget with $9.8 million of “blood” money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (SR 11/5/2018 “EWU ranks among the nation’s top universities for accepting Saudi-funded tuition”).

The president and Board of Trustees of EWU must be proud that EWU ranks up there with MIT, Harvard and George Washington universities and accepts even more than the University of Washington!

There clearly needs to be a discussion at EWU involving the president, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and especially the students concerning whether the university should take these funds from a morally bankrupt regime that has, for over three years, essentially destroyed the country of Yemen by continual bombing  resulting in the mass starvation of the population of one of the world’s poorest countries. This has created what the United Nations has called the planet’s current worst humanitarian disaster.

But yet there’s more; a death squad of the Saudi government recently murdered in Turkey, probably in a particularly nauseating manner, internationally acclaimed Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, whose only crime was to speak out about human rights violations in his own country.

I would ask readers to contact the EWU president and Board of Trustees members at EWU to ask how they can rationalize taking this tainted money.



Jeffrey Corkill