Message to Members of the University Community:
As you are aware, on January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order that bars immigrants, non-immigrants and refugees from seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from entering the United States. The legality of this Order is being challenged in various courts around the country, and, over the weekend, significant numbers of American citizens and residents joined together to protest the President’s actions.
The Executive Order has raised concerns throughout the higher education community in the nation, and, indeed, the world. At Montclair State University, there is no ambiguity in regard to our mission to provide the highest quality education possible to a diverse population of students who have demonstrated a desire to learn and demonstrated the ability to benefit by the opportunity of a higher education. Once here, all of our students are entitled to, and receive, the full support of the University in achieving their educational goals, a mission that is sustained by a highly qualified faculty and staff, many of whom have come to the University from other parts of the world.
Montclair State welcomes qualified students, regardless of immigration status, and, except in circumstances mandated by federal law, the University does not inquire about or keep records of immigration status, nor does the University Police Department inquire about or record immigration status in the performance of its duties. Further, Montclair State University maintains a strong commitment to, and vigorously complies with, federal privacy requirements for student records.
As I said in a recent article in New Jersey Monthly, “any university worth the name doesn’t exist as an isolated institution. A university is a member of an international scholarly community. In the most difficult and worst of times, universities have been a vital connection between and among peoples and nations.” In that regard, Montclair State University has hosted scholars and artists sponsored by the Scholar Rescue Fund and the Artist Protection Fund of the Institute for International Education, rescuing those international colleagues from personal threats in their home countries. We will continue that work and continue to foster a campus that is open and welcoming and that does not categorize individuals by characteristics, such as race, nationality, or religion.
In order to ensure that all members of the community have access to the support they need during this uncertain time, a new University web page will provide updated information and advice to students and employees on immigration-related concerns, and the University’s Global Education Center will serve as the primary contact point for any members of the University community requiring information or assistance.
Appropriate University officers have been monitoring, and will continue to closely monitor, developments in this area and to maintain contact with members of the University community who may be affected by the Executive Order or future related events. If anyone has any individual questions or concerns, I encourage you to be in touch with the Office of International Engagement, and please review the immigration link.
[This message was sent to all Montclair State University faculty, staff and students from President Susan A. Cole. A letter was also sent to the New Jersey Congressional Delegation on September 11, 2017.]