Friday, November 27, 2009

Dubai, Academic Freedom, and Real Estate

Sometime around 2006, when I was an Associate Dean at George Washington University, I was asked to be part of a team to go to Dubai to explore the possibility of opening a degree program there. After spending three or four days there and running some financials, our team decided that unless GW got a heavy subsidy from Dubai, it was economically a non-starter for us to set up something. Our team's judgments is looking pretty good right now.

The more interesting part of the story, though, is a conversation I had with a professor at one of the universities there. I asked about academic freedom in Dubai, and he said there was plenty. I then asked whether it would be OK to raise in class a discussion about whether the Emir had shown good judgment in building Burj Dubai, the still incomplete tallest skyscraper in the world. The look on his face told me all I needed to know.


Anonymous said...

World central banks put too much forces savings into the system, and much of it got wasted profitless building. Now the loans cannot be repaid.

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cristine said...

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