Sharif University Dean Fired For Graduation Ceremony Controversy

Source: Iran International

A graduation ceremony at Sharif University of Technology’s international Campus on Kish Island (November 16, 2023)

Following the furore over students being allowed to attend a graduation ceremony without mandatory hijab, the dean of Iran’s Sharif University has been fired.

Mohammad Ali Zolfigol, the Minister of Science, issued a decree removing Rasoul Jalili from his position and introduced Abbas Mousavi as the new acting head of the university.

The graduation ceremony for 81 students from the international campus of Sharif University of Technology took place on Kish Island last Thursday. According to videos shared on social media, many female graduates were seen without mandatory hijab, wearing graduation uniforms.

Following that, the chancellor of Kish campus was dismissed. On Saturday, the AmirKabir Telegram channel reported that, following threats from the ministries of science and intelligence, Ali Selk Ghaffari, the chancellor of Kish campus, had been “forced to resign.”

The dismissal will come as a shock for many, knowing Jalili as a key figure in the Khamenei inner circle. In 2012, Jalili was appointed as a member of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace by the decree of Supreme Leader and was previously named as one of the organizers of “digital suppression,” leading to his inclusion in the US sanctions list.

Since the protests following the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police detention, many students, especially female ones, have openly and practically opposed mandatory hijab. As dissent deepens, universities have stepped up security and surveillance, in line with that seen across public spaces in Iran.