The Faculty Senate of Oregon State University wishes to express its concern about the ongoing denial of higher education to Baha'i students in Iran on the sole basis of religious belief.
According to the International Religious Freedom Report 2005 released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the U.S. Department of State, public and private universities in Iran continue to deny admittance to Baha'i students. While recently, for the first time, Baha'i applicants were permitted to take part in the nationwide exam for entrance into state-run universities, for those students who passed the exam matriculation was again conditioned on their denying their faith.
Iran enjoys the distinction of being one of the 48 member states of the United Nations in 1948 that unanimously adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 26 of the Declaration states that "everyone has the right to education" and that "higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of merit". The Declaration also establishes the right to freedom of religion.
As teachers and researchers committed to our university's mission to "promote economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for people across Oregon, the nation and the world", we affirm the importance of these fundamental human rights. We urge the Iranian government to allow everyone to enjoy the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration "without distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."
The motion to approve the verbiage as amended passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.