Campus Questions Related to the January 27th Executive Order
February 10, 2017
Dear members of the Vanderbilt community,
I’m writing to share information in response to questions we have received related to the Jan. 27 Executive Order.
I want you to know that no Vanderbilt students, faculty or staff affected by the January 27 Executive Order were outside of the United States and unable to return. University officials, in particular the staff of International and Scholar Services (ISSS), have been in contact with members of the Vanderbilt community who could be affected by the order to offer assistance. In the future, should a student be detained abroad as a result of this order, the student’s deans will work with them to devise a plan of action related to their continued studies at the university.
Our Office of the General Counsel is working closely with ISSS and with Human Resources to provide a list of vetted immigration attorneys to share with any individual possibly affected by the Executive Order who needs or wants legal counsel on this issue. Individuals will be responsible for the cost of their own legal counsel but we expect many attorneys to be willing to offer services pro bono or at a reduced rate. If you learn that assistance is needed, please remind the impacted individual to reach out to the appropriate Vanderbilt office.
Importantly, the practices shared in the letter Vice Chancellor Hill and I sent the Vanderbilt community Dec. 6 continue. Vanderbilt has not, does not and will not share citizenship or immigration information about its students except as required by law. For example, some of the programs in which the university participates require us to share information with the government in order for students to maintain their visas. Refusing to participate in these programs could jeopardize the visa status of our students, and also jeopardize the ability of Vanderbilt to continue to sponsor visas for international students and scholars. Therefore, it is important that the university continue to share such information when required to do so to ensure not only our students’ continued ability to study in the United States but also the University’s continued ability to attract international students and scholars.
We will continue to keep the Vanderbilt community apprised of any new developments in this rapidly evolving situation and appreciate your continued engagement. For additional information, please also visit the website that we have created to share the university’s statements and other important resources related to this topic, https://www.vanderbilt.edu/provost/international.php
Susan R. Wente
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs