Dear members of the Wayne State community,
Wayne State University is very concerned about the possible effects of the administration's recent executive order on our international students and scholars. We remain committed to being a welcoming and inclusive campus for students and scholars from around the world regardless of race, religion, ethnic background, or nationality. This is a proud part of our history, and is woven into our mission, our vision, and our strategic plan. International students and scholars, through their contributions to our society, culture, and economy, enrich not only the campus community but also our city, state, and country.
At this point, we are working with other universities and academic organizations, including the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), and the Institute of International Education (IIE), to better understand the implications of the recent and proposed changes. Our collective efforts will help us monitor the situation and provide the appropriate response and support to our community.
While uncertainties remain as to the scope and meaning of the executive order, we wish to provide opportunities to better understand this matter as it continues to evolve. We intend to offer assistance and support in whatever way we can. Our staff in the Office of International Programs (OIP) stand ready to support students and scholars who are affected by the recent policies. We encourage affected students and scholars to contact our advisors at the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at 313-577-3422 or OISSmail@wayne.edu.
The Office of International Programs is coordinating various activities, including a meeting to help answer our international students’ and scholars’ questions and concerns, and provide the needed assistance and support during these uncertain times. We will share information about the session with our students separately. Provost Whitfield will be holding a faculty Town Hall on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Bernath Auditorium at the Undergraduate Library. The agenda will include this subject as a discussion item.
Also on Tuesday, our Office of Multicultural Student Engagement will be holding an event titled Unity Talk from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Community Room of the Undergraduate Library where this issue and others will be addressed.
Importantly, we strongly encourage our students and scholars, particularly those from Muslim countries and countries affected by the recent executive order, to stay in the U.S., as their admittance back into the U.S., even with a valid visa, is open to question. We will share more information about the implications of the new policies for our community as it becomes available. In the meantime, you can find additional answers to your questions here.
In these challenging times, it can be tempting to give in to fear or anger, but as I said in an earlier message, times of transition and uncertainly also can be opportunities to better understand and support each other. They are opportunities to appreciate and learn from our differences, and call on us to express our better selves. Engaging with the world, and each other, is integral to our mission of creating and advancing knowledge, preparing a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impacting our local and global communities. Our continued commitment to remaining a welcoming and inclusive campus, where everyone feels safe and supported while they pursue their goals, is one way we do that.
M. Roy Wilson