In memoriam:

Ayatollah Hashemi's Views On The Foundation And Administration Of IAU

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 14:57

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the founder of Islamic Azad University and the head of its board of trustees, known for his efforts to build a stronger, more independent Iran, fondly recalled the foundation of IAU.

In memory of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s efforts for the academic community and the Islamic Azad University, what follows is the late Ayatollah's account of how the Islamic Azad Univeristy came to be, as reported by ISCANews:

“The late Imam Khomeini not only had remarkable awareness of the importance of literacy, which led to the creation of the "Literacy movement," his wit and thinking also extended to improving the higher education system of the country - which supported only 150 thousand students at the time - bringing universities under government sanction and regulation by allocating one million tomans of money which had been donated to the government by people to establish the Islamic Azad University.”

“God guarantees that acts that begin with sincerity will continue, while those with wrong intentions may deliver harm for a while and then break down. A conversation between Dr. Jassbi and I sparked a thought. We came to the conclusion that in the face of the lack of facilities, we can make use of literate, educated personnel and cultural venues like Hussainias and mosques. On the other hand why not create some space where demands are so high?”

“At the beginning of the revolution we witnessed a significant lack of higher education facilities in public universities. That time, the revolutionary forces could not accept the concept of working for a non-profit organization that operates independently of any government and believed everything must be governmental and that 'Imam Khomeini must permit it.' We went and talked to the Imam (R.A.) about existing needs and deficiencies. He accepted immediately and donated one million Iranian tomans to cover its administrative costs.”

“This university has no financial benefit for its founders. None of us have a margin or share in this university. The sole objective in opening the IAU has been to fulfill the needs of the people by relying on themselves. All of these constructive achievements came about with God and the good of His people in mind, and with the aim of developing knowledge and allowing for the progress of the country.”

“Today this powerful organization has the support of its academic forces and student body, members that allow it to move toward the peaks of knowledge. At present also we feel the necessity of higher education severely, just like the beginning of the revolution and we are happy that again, decisions have been made by IAU regarding these issues and its results will be revealed in future.”

“If good education is provided inside the country, Iranian academics, both inside and outside the country will be interested in continuing their studies and research in Iran. The Islamic Azad University is a forerunner in the field of providing actual applied benefits to all people; this university has started extensive research on renewable, sustainable energy, and with God's help, our honorable nation will make use of it in the future.”

“The establishment of provincial boards of trustees of the Islamic Azad University that have been established in 31 provinces promises qualitative and quantitive improvement of the university as time goes by.”

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