Report to the Trustees of Indiana University

University Tower
Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

Friday, February 03, 2017

Statement on immigration order

As you know, last week a presidential executive order was issued that suspends admission of all refugees into the United States and bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Because this executive order is contrary to IU's values as an institution, and because it threatens to disrupt our missions, I issued a statement over the weekend expressing the university’s strong opposition to the order and calling on the administration to end it as quickly as possible.

Thirteen of my 14 presidential colleagues at nearly all Big Ten Universities have issued similar statements.

We have also called on the administration to make it clear to the rest of the world that our nation's colleges and universities will continue to open their doors to the best and brightest students, scholars, and researchers from around the world.

This executive order has, of course, caused concern and anxiety among many of IU’s international students and scholars, particularly among those who have ties to the seven countries identified in the order, and among members of IU’s Muslim community.

About 150 IU students across all of IU’s campuses are citizens of one of the seven countries identified in the order. We currently have about 75 visiting faculty members and foreign exchange students from those countries. And we have, so far this year, received 162 applications from prospective students in those seven countries.

A number of our faculty also have dual citizenship in one of the seven countries, and are concerned about traveling abroad for research collaboration out of fear that they will not be allowed to return to the U.S.

We remain fully committed to ensuring a welcoming, safe, civil, and inclusive community for all of our students, faculty, and staff—and to offering our full support to those affected by this set of executive actions.

We will continue to provide counseling on immigration-related concerns through IU’s Office of International Services, which is maintaining a new webpage with current information and advice.

We are also fully committed to strongly supporting all of IU’s Muslim students and scholars, who come from around the country and around the world.

To this end, this week I met with members of the Muslim Student Associations, as well as representatives of other concerned student organizations, here at IUPUI and also at IU Bloomington.

I would also like to say a word, more broadly, about IU's ongoing commitment to global engagement. We live, of course, in increasingly challenging times. But rather than shutting ourselves off from the rest of the world, we must continue to understand it and engage with it. The need to do so has never been more acute or urgent. It is precisely the multiplication of perspectives, information, and worldviews, as well as the willingness to subject them to rigorous scrutiny, to debate them, and to defend them—in short using our reason to search for truth—that helps us to understand ourselves and our beliefs, our assumptions, and our knowledge more deeply and more thoroughly.

Because of all of this, Indiana University will continue to engage with the broader world through our academic partnerships with leading academic institutions around the world, including a number of institutions in the Middle East.

We will continue to recruit outstanding international students and scholars, who diversify and enrich our community.

And in all that we do, we will steadfastly pursue our enduring mission: to educate our students for active, engaged, and committed citizenship; prepare them for public service; and contribute to the building of civil society around the globe.