In July 2017, NACE joined with more than 30 higher education associations in signing a position statement that calls for the safe release of a Princeton University student imprisoned in Iran. The statement reads as follows:
Statement by Higher Education Organizations on the Imprisonment of Xiyue Wang
Colleges and universities throughout the United States, and in many countries throughout the world, are firmly committed to the principles of intellectual inquiry and scholarly exchange. They recognize that learning and increased understanding depend on the ability of students, teachers and scholars to engage in dialogue and research. For this reason many institutions in this country have been strong advocates against policies that limit or discourage international movement by scholars or jeopardize their ability to conduct their research. The imprisonment of Xiyue Wang, an American graduate student conducting historical research in Iran, imperils both of these principles.
Mr. Wang is a fourth-year graduate student in history at Princeton University with an interest in Eurasian languages and late 19th and early 20th century Eurasian history. In connection with his doctoral research he traveled to Iran to study Farsi and examine historical documents related to the Qajar dynasty that ruled from 1785 to 1925. He described his research plans in advance to the Iranian authorities and the libraries and archives he planned to visit, and he only sought materials that he needed for his dissertation. His research was solely for the purpose of completing his academic work.
Scholars around the world engage every day in archival research in pursuit of historical knowledge. Mr. Wang’s imprisonment can only have a chilling effect on historical research and scholarly exchange in Iran and throughout the world, and this, in turn, can only lead to diminished understanding and greater mistrust, to the detriment of all. We urge the safe release of Xiyue Wang and call for him to be allowed to return home to reunite with his wife and young son and to complete his degree.