U. Mass. Will Not Admit Iranian Students to Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences (Updated)

Cory Robin:

This announcement was recently posted on the website of the graduate school of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst:

The University has determined that recent governmental sanctions pose a significant challenge to its ability to provide a full program of education and research for Iranian students in certain disciplines and programs. Because we must ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the University has determined 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.

The full announcement and reasoning (US sanctions on Iran) behind this new policy can be found here.

During the fight over the American Studies Association’s vote for an academic boycott of Israel, putative defenders of academic freedom made a lot of noise about the threat that the boycott posed to academic exchange and international conversation.

But as many of us pointed out the time, nothing in the ASA vote precluded the exchange of individual scholars or students between the United States and Israel.

Now we have a public university, claiming to act in accordance with US policy, officially banning Iranian national students from entire graduate schools.