Jan. 29, 2017
Dear IU Bloomington Community,
As President McRobbie made clear in his statement yesterday, the executive order imposing travel and immigration restrictions on people from seven countries is deeply antithetical to the values of Indiana University, and distressing and troubling to many members of our community. We will continue our university's strong advocacy against this set of executive actions, which are already unraveling in the face of legal challenges across the country, through our partnership with our academic colleagues at other universities and the Association of American Universities, of which we are a member. I note in this regard that almost all of the Big 10 Presidents have joined President McRobbie in issuing strong statements denouncing the order's effect on academic openness and the work of our universities.
I have personally heard from individual students and faculty who are facing challenging and unnecessary hardships because of this action: faculty members whose research programs have been disrupted; students and faculty whose parents and family members will not be able to attend their graduations or weddings; and many community members who are facing much psychological distress.
I write to follow up with concrete actions and resources for our community members most affected by these issues and others that have been concerning to our community. I also want to repeat our commitments and statements from the fall semester.
If you are detained or prevented from re-entering the U.S. while traveling, Indiana University will assist you. Please call Associate General Counsel Angela Adams in the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel at (317) 274-7455 or the Office of International Services (OIS) at (812) 855-9086. During non-business hours, please contact the IU Police Department (IUPD) at (812) 855-4111, and they will connect you immediately with an OIS official.
If you have immigration-related concerns, we provide counseling and support for IUB community members through OIS. Additionally, OIS has created a new web page that will be maintained with current information and advice.
OIS will also work with General Counsel to provide referrals to attorneys on immigration-related legal issues. We also have identified a group of attorneys willing to work with our students on a pro bono basis. Please contact OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org or (812) 855-9086. In addition, the IU Maurer School of Law's Pro Bono Immigration Project is available to our community to support the unmet legal needs of noncitizens in Bloomington and surrounding areas. Contact information is on the website.
The Office of International Services has contacted all international students and scholars offering support and announcing information sessions scheduled this Tuesday, January 31, and Thursday, February 2 in IMU State Room East, 5–7 pm.
I reiterate President McRobbie's and my clearly-stated commitments to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) undergraduate and graduate students. This program has not yet been affected by an executive order, and we are monitoring the situation closely. Please see the website created in November with resources specifically tailored to DACA and undocumented students.
We will continue to respect the privacy of all students, faculty, and staff equally, in their studies, work, and personal lives. We will therefore only inquire into, record, use, or communicate a person's immigration status when required by law or when necessary to protect a person's safety. In particular, we protect the privacy of all student records as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the privacy and confidentiality of all employee records from disclosure unless required by a warrant issued by a court of law. Our IU Police Department (IUPD) does not seek immigration status information in the normal course of its duties.
We provide counseling and support to students on immigration-related concerns through the Office of International Services. The office can also provide referrals to attorneys on immigration-related legal issues, including attorneys who work for reduced or no fee. Please contact Rendy Schrader in that office at email@example.com or (812) 855-6345.
We will counsel students about and connect students to available resources for educational and living expenses for which they are legally eligible through the Office of Scholarships. Please contact Director Ron McFall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (812) 855-5779.
I note that U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently reintroduced bipartisan legislation to protect undocumented young people brought to the United States as children (the Bridge Act) in the event the DACA program is discontinued.
We vigorously investigate and prosecute anyone who threatens, intimidates, or harasses any member of our community, and make special efforts to protect those who are targeted or at risk for physical harm, threats or intimidation. You may report a concern electronically or directly to Associate Dean of Students Carol McCord at email@example.com or at (812) 855-8188. Of course, call 911 if you face an immediate threat.
I want to thank Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret and his talented and caring staff for all of the work they have done to assure community members that Indiana University supports them.
Finally, I have personally reached out to every faculty and staff member who is directly affected by the executive order, and have offered the university's support along with my personal support and commitment.
Please take an opportunity to reach out to our community members who are most directly affected by this set of events with expressions of kindness, concern, and compassion.
We are one IU: full stop, no exceptions.
Executive Vice President and Provost