The main campus of Azad University in Tehran.

Iranian University Firing 1,500 More Professors

Saturday, 02/12/2022

Iran’s Azad University has fired 325 professors and lecturers in recent months and has decided now to dismiss 1,500 more, Iran International TV reported.

According to information received by the station, about 40 of the professors were from the southwestern province of Kurdistan while more professors were fired in provinces with substantial religious and ethnic minorities. The university has dozens of campuses around the country.

The former head of the recruitment board at the Islamic Azad University, who resigned in September wrote in his resignation letter that about 1,800 people were referred to the authorities for severance pay, and 325 were let go.

While many critics see the layoffs as further political cleansing of academia that has accelerated since Ebrahim Raisi took office, others point to the decrease in the number of university applicants in general because of the existing economic crisis and high inflation that has impoverished the middle classes.

However, in January other Iranian universities fired three distinguished professors in what was clearly seen as apolitical move against independent academic figures.

The Islamic Republic has conducted several ‘cleansing’ operations in universities, firing professors that it has deemed not committed to the regime. The most widespread firings took place right after the 1979 revolution and repeated during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who forced many professors into retirement.

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