Beginning in the current academic year in Iran, effective September 23, following a decision by Mehdi Tehranchi, the president of Azad University, a significant number of associate professors, totaling 32,000 across various units and disciplines, have been relieved of their positions.

As reported by the state-run “Etemad” newspaper on October 12, these professors have been replaced by 20,000 doctoral students who are in their first or second semester at Azad University and are actively engaged in their studies.

These doctoral students, upon completing a 40-hour educational course titled “Schooling,” have assumed academic positions at Azad University. In recognition of their roles, these new “professors” are expected to receive a scholarship and benefit from reduced tuition fees.

The decision made by the president of Azad University comes at a time when the clerical regime has already dismissed hundreds of professors and educational staff from universities across the country. These individuals were regarded as sympathetic toward protests and students engaged in the 2022 nationwide uprising.

As a consequence of the recent Azad University decision, tens of thousands have lost their primary source of income, with no other job opportunities on the horizon. This predicament arises primarily because many of them, after dedicating one or two decades to teaching at Azad University, have surpassed the age limit for employment in academic positions within universities or governmental institutions.

According to a clause in the 2018 directive of the Central Organization of the Azad University, which seems to have played a significant role in the president of the Azad University’s decision to suddenly remove 32,000 associate professors, “If an associate professor loses the general teaching conditions, the university’s academic affairs will proceed to revoke the allocated teaching ID.”

Essentially, individuals seeking to teach in various units of Azad University and join its academic faculty must undergo a pre-approval process based on both general and specific conditions before commencing their collaboration.

According to the 2021 announcement of Azad University, “specific conditions” refer to the educational and academic background of the applicant. However, “general conditions” are defined as follows: “No history of membership and activity in various groups opposing the Islamic Republic of Iran, knowledge of religious rulings and performance of Islamic duties, adherence to the orders and statements of the leadership, avoiding incompatible and indecent lines in scientific activities and research at the university, belief in and having a heartfelt commitment to the Islamic Republic of Iran, belief in the applicant’s commitment to superior technology, commitment to professional ethics and professional guild laws and regulations. Male applicants should in no way have any issues related to the public duty system for employment as a member of the academic staff.”

These guidelines, along with the specific criteria leading to the dismissal of dissenting students and dissatisfied professors, clearly indicate an ideological and political cleansing campaign by the clerical dictatorship. It also highlights the substantial level of discontent brewing within academia.

Since 1979, this regime has continuously attempted to suppress, militarize, purge, or reshape Iran’s universities to eradicate intellectual integrity. However, every uprising has demonstrated to the clerical regime that its efforts have been futile. Therefore, there’s significant doubt about whether a 40-hour educational “schooling” and some financial incentives will result in the creation of loyal professors.

Source » ncr-iran