Victory
Petitioning University of Massachusetts Amherst and 1 other

Reverse the New Admission Policy Regarding Iranian Nationals

On February 6, 2015, UMass Amherst posted a new policy [1] regarding Iranian students applying to several graduate programs. The new policy is based on the “Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012” enacted by the congress in August 2012, which states that Iranians are "ineligible for U.S. visas if they are seeking to participate in higher education in preparation for a career in Iran’s petroleum, natural gas, nuclear energy, nuclear science, or nuclear engineering fields." Leveraging the aforementioned act, UMass Amherst's new policy states that it "will no longer admit Iranian national students to specific programs in the College of Engineering (i.e., Chemical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering) and in the College of Natural Sciences (i.e., Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, and Polymer Science & Engineering) effective February 1, 2015."

As a faculty member at UMass Amherst, in my opinion, UMass Amherst's new policy regarding Iranian students is the most expansive and potentially discriminatory interpretation of the “Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.” This policy deprives students of Iranian nationality of the right to admission in many research disciplines that are not directly related to "petroleum, natural gas, nuclear energy, nuclear science, or nuclear engineering fields" targeted by the act. I find this new policy to be in serious conflict with our institutional values and principles at UMass Amherst, including non-discrimination based on nationality. I am also deeply concerned that the new policy will negatively affect (and has already affected) the academic reputation of my institution, UMass Amherst. Therefore, I request that this new policy be removed.

[1] http://www.umass.edu/gradschool/sites/default/files/iranian_student_admissions_2_2015.pdf

This petition was delivered to:
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Chancellor's Office


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