In support of University Professors and Academic Scholars in Iran

Dear Iranian University Professors and Academic Scholars (In IRAN),

We the signatories herein, representing hundreds of your compatriot colleagues in universities and research centers worldwide, do hereby reaffirm our confidence in and solidarity with YOU. Notwithstanding the rather strenuous circumstances and numerous challenges you face, we appreciatively recognize your seminal contributions to the advancement of science, technology and society in our motherland, IRAN. Carrying your daily responsibilities of teaching, learning, sharing and contributing immeasurably toward the general welfare of Iran and the humanity is commendable. It is in that spirit that we are also confident of your upholding the highest ethical standards and professional conducts possible when it comes to safeguarding the integrity of the academy, curriculum, scholarly contributions and publications, and the multifaceted historical and contemporary heritage of IRAN in the family of nations. As mentors, each of you will inspire thousands of students, our tomorrow’s professors, scholars and leaders, when they emulate you as role models and adopt your ethical conducts in life.

As your peers and congruent with your resolve, we are also staunch believers and firm practitioners of academic freedom and a rigorous peer-review process for publishing novel discoveries. The selection, refinement and revision of curriculum, and pedagogy and the scholarly pursuits, fall solely within the jurisdiction of the manifestly qualified professors of every specific academic discipline. Furthermore, a credible system of higher education and its scholarly endeavors are anchored on a competent academic management model that emerges from within. Peers in academic positions-from the chair of a department to the ministerial levels-are therefore, democratically emerged, elected and entrusted to lead their respective organizations; the pre-requisite for such recognition is their sustainable level of substantive contributions to the academy.

Accordingly, the unilateral politically charged appointees of pre-selected individuals who possess no doctorate, falsify or receive such degree honoris causa or from an obscure university and/or are allegedly under serious scrutiny for their plagiarism or academic misconducts, is not only demoralizing to the society at-large, but more devastatingly detrimental to the stature of the higher education system as a whole in the eye of the public and world opinions (see report in Nature). Such tragedy will in turn seriously undermine the faculty and student exchange opportunities with sister institutions worldwide.

The professors and scholars in each discipline are, therefore, ethically obligated to ensure the originality, integrity and validity of the review process before any manuscript is published and/or the curriculum is revised, and further, to safeguard the process by which the most manifestly qualified peers emerge in leadership capacities. This is not any longer an aesthetic semantics but rather a truly meritorious necessity if the higher education and the scholarly pursuits in Iran were to achieve their deserving statures in the world.

Respectfully submitted and in Solidarity, we remain with best wishes….

Original Signatories (alphabetized) October 2009 (Mehr 1388)

Ervand Abrahamian, Ph.D.
Professor of History, City University of New York U.S.A.

Moji Agha
Founder/Director, Project on Culture and Conflict, University of Arizona, U.S.A.

Shahdad Azmoon, M.D.
Attending Cardiovascular Surgeon
New York Medical College, U.S.A.

Hamid Dabashi, Ph.D.
Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature
Columbia University, New York, USA

Marzie Jafari, Ph.D.
Acting Dean, Lehman College
City University of New York, U.S.A.

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak
Professor of Creative Arts
Siena College, Loudonville, New York U.S.A.

Reza Mousoli, M.S.
Senior Lecturer and Program Director in Computing
Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, U.K.

Mohammad H. Naraghi, Ph.D.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Manhattan College
Adj. Professor Columbia University, New York U.S.A.

Davood N. Rahni, Ph.D.
Professor Chemistry Pace University
Adj. Professor of Dermatology, New York Medical College U.S.A.

Farnosh Saeedi, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
City University of New York, Bronx U.S.A.

Muhammad Sahimi, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California U.S.A.

Hamid Zangeneh, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
Widener University, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Please forward this open letter widely and encourage university professors, scholars and researchers in particular, to sign the above PETITION at

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