150 professors from the humanities departments of Iran’s Allameh Tabatabai University are to be fired or forced into early retirement.
Kaleme opposition website reports that as the end of the academic year approaches, the head of Allameh Tabatabai University is preparing the files of 150 outstanding senior professors of business administration, sociology, economics, communications, law and political science for dismissal or early retirement.
The report adds that over the summer holidays the university will make prepare to merge with the Imam Khomeini Institute, which belongs to senior hardline cleric Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi.
According to Kaleme, the president of Allameh Tabatabai, with the support of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, had fired scores of professors over the past six years and closed down several graduate programs.
Allameh Tabatabai University is the largest Iranian University offering humanities programs, with 15,000 students enrolled in 140 programs.
Following the disputed victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential elections and the widespread protests it inspired, Iran’s Supreme Leader pointed to the large number of humanities students enrolled in universities as one of roots of the unrest.
He said universities need more professors committed to Islamic principals to teach these programs, criticizing the current humanities curricula as heavily influenced by Western teachings.
In response to Ayatollah Khomeini’s statements, the ministry of science and technology has been purging university faculties by firing and retiring professors deemed questionable.
At the same time, expansions to humanities departments have been halted and the ministry is reportedly reviewing curricula at a number of universities.