The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s (Amherst) reintroduction of segregation policy didn’t last long. Its administrators have reversed a rule which would have barred Iranians from enrolling in some science and engineering graduate programs.
Amherst initially defended the policy claiming it was in compliance with federal sanctions passed against Iran in 2012. The 2012 law allows the denial of Iranian student visas if that student wishes to study nuclear-related fields. These sanctions did not mandate or even allow American schools to deny enrollment of students who’d already received visas.
Amherst has walked back their blanket ban on Iranian enrollment in graduate programs but, as The Verge noted, Amherst will instead have Iranian students go through a potentially restrictive process of evaluation of each students enrollment on a case by case basis.
Amherst Chancellor Michael Malone told the press, "We have always believed that excluding students from admission conflicts with our institutional values and principles” which raises the question of why Amherst instituted the exclusionary policy in direct conflict with it's principles and values.
Whoever was responsible for reinstating segregation at Amherst should not continue to be employed in the field of education.