SAUDI PRESENCE: Is reflected on an ASU web page. A translation indicates it's information about a company that represents ASU in the Middle East and teaches at the universiy.

The killing of a journalist in the Saudi embassy in Turkey has led universities to rethink arrangements with the Saudi Arabian government that have produced some $350 million in spending the last decade, the Associated Press reports. The Saudis have also been involved with higher education in Arkansas.

The AP didn’t mention Arkansas in an account of recent Saudi spending, primarily on scholarship programs. But there are connections.


A $20 million gift to the University of Arkansas established the King Fahd Middle East Studies Center at Fayetteville in 1993 and in 1999 a Saudi delegation came to Arkansas to sign a memorandum of understanding about other cooperative efforts.

When former congressman and Arkansas State University president Ray Thornton died in 2016, one of the achievements for which he was remembered at ASU was a federally contracted program for Saudi Arabian customs officers. The Saudi government also endows a grant program for faculty and students on Middle East research. The program for customs officers led to construction of a mosque and Islamic center in Jonesboro.


I can find no reaction related to Saudi activities in Arkansas in light of the killing of Jamal  Khashoggi.