University Presidents Weigh in on Controversial Order

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(From left-to-right: Purdue President Mitch Daniels, IU President Michael McRobbie, Notre Dame President John Jenkins) (From left-to-right: Purdue President Mitch Daniels, IU President Michael McRobbie, Notre Dame President John Jenkins)

The presidents of several of the state's largest universities have come out in opposition to an executive order by President Donald Trump. The measure includes a temporary halt to citizens entering the United States from seven countries the administration says pose a threat to national security. Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins each described how they say Friday's executive order affects their institutions.

The executive order sparked protests throughout the state and nation, including one that attracted hundreds to the Indianapolis International Airport.

McRobbie's statement:

At Indiana University, we embrace openness to the world. This has long been a hallmark of great global universities such as ours that seek to attract the best students, scholars and researchers from every country and champion the cause of greater cultural understanding.

The executive order issued on Friday that bars citizens and refugees from certain countries from entering the U.S. is contrary to the very core of our values as an institution committed to excellence and innovation, a diversity of community and ideas, respect for the dignity of others and engagement in the economic, civic, cultural and social development of our state, our nation and our world.

IU's educational, research and service missions are inextricably bound with the rest of the world and rooted in a belief in the ever-increasing value of international literacy and experience. This is why we urge the administration to end this executive order, which threatens to disrupt these missions, as quickly as possible. We also would encourage 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 scholars and researchers who, through their teaching, discoveries and innovations, play a vital role in enhancing our nation's economic competitiveness and prosperity.

The directives contained in this executive order will have a considerable impact on IU's international students and scholars, many of whom are feeling frightened and unsettled, interfering with their travel plans and other commitments. In response, we are advising that all of our international students and scholars allow plenty of time for visa processing, as wait times are expected to increase, and we are also strongly recommending that citizens of the seven countries targeted for new visitation restrictions not travel to any country outside the U.S. at this time.

We recognize the critical importance of a strong and effective visa process to protecting our national security, which is why we continue to support collaborative efforts that ensure our visa system prevents entry from anyone who wishes to harm Americans.

At the same time, we remain committed to doing all that we can within the bounds of the law to vigorously protect and support IU students, faculty and staff. Additionally, we will continue to provide counseling to students on immigration-related concerns through our Office of International Services, which is maintaining a new webpage with current information and advice, while we intensify our advocacy for expanded access to higher education for all IU students living in the U.S.

We will conduct all of our actions in pursuit of 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.

Daniels' statement:

The President's order related to immigration is a bad idea, poorly implemented, and I hope that he will promptly revoke and rethink it. If the idea is to strengthen the protection of Americans against terrorism, there are many far better ways to achieve it.

Purdue says approximately 100 of its students and 10 faculty members are from the countries involved in the executive order, and as of Sunday, it was not aware of anyone connected to the school being stranded outside the U.S.

Jenkins' statement:

The sweeping, indiscriminate and abrupt character of President Trump’s recent Executive Order halts the work of valued students and colleagues who have already passed a rigorous, post-9/11 review process, are vouched for by the university and have contributed so much to our campuses. If it stands, it will over time diminish the scope and strength of the educational and research efforts of American universities, which have been the source not only of intellectual discovery but of economic innovation for the United States and international understanding for our world; and, above all, it will demean our nation, whose true greatness has been its guiding ideals of fairness, welcome to immigrants, compassion for refugees, respect for religious faith and the courageous refusal to compromise its principles in the face of threats.

We respectfully urge the president to rescind this order.

Ball State University interim President Terry King did not comment directly on details of the executive order, but outlined university resources available to those with questions or concerns.

The University of Evansville released the following statement:

The University of Evansville draws it strength from the broad diversity of its students, staff, and faculty. Our mission as an institution of higher education affiliated with the United Methodist Church calls us to create and sustain an environment in which people from all nations, cultures, and religions feel safe and supported as they pursue an education.

The recent executive order restricting immigration to the United States by residents of seven countries contradicts the values of openness and inclusion that support UE’s educational mission and core identity. We urge the administration to rescind this order, and we encourage political leaders from all parties and branches of government to strengthen the protections that our nation has historically extended to immigrants and refugees who want to improve their lives by working and studying in the United States.

We are proud to affirm our unequivocal support for the members of our community who come from nations affected by this executive order. These students, faculty, staff, and administrators have made enormous contributions to the educational and cultural environment of the University and of the Evansville community, and we will do everything in our power to protect their right to work and study here.  At UE, we stand by the principle that access to a quality education for all, including international, refugee and undocumented students, is essential for a world that is safer and better prepared to deal with the challenges we face.

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