In the wake of President Donald Trump signing an executive order banning travel and immigration from some predominantly Muslim countries, Philadelphia-area university leaders spoke out against the ban and offered advice -- mainly not to travel outside the United States -- to impacted students and faculty.
Penn State University monitored over the weekend if the order could impact PSU students studying abroad, said PSU President Eric Barron in a statement posted online.
"Fortunately, to the best of our knowledge, none of our students or scholars who are from the named countries are currently traveling abroad," said Barron. "But the problems that are surfacing with the order are clear, and we join the Association of American Universities and universities all across the country in asking that the order be ended as soon as possible."
The AAU's called for an end to the travel ban "to make clear to the world that the United States continues to welcome the most talented individuals from all countries to study, teach, and carry out research and scholarship at our universities."
In a letter to "Penn students, faculty and staff," the University of Pennsylvania also expressed concern for the potential impact of Trump's order.
"Recent changes to federal policy suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen have raised concerns for many members of the Penn community," said the statement from a group of university provosts. "We share these concerns and are working with outside counsel to clarify the implications for nationals from these countries who are currently at Penn and for those who might be planning to travel to or attend Penn. We advise all nationals from the affected countries to defer travel until there is some clarification of the situation. We urge passport holders, citizens, nationals, dual nationals, etc. from the impacted countries and their supervisors and advisors to reach out to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for guidance on travel outside the United States and to discuss additional specific questions resulting from the immigration suspension. [[412059543, C]]
"... Penn remains fully committed to these valued members of our community, and to engaging globally to bring the best scholars and students from around the world to our campus. At the same time, we will be working to express our concerns about the effects of recent policy actions on our community, as well as our view that rapid changes in immigration policy create uncertainty for those who are eager to come to the United States to learn and to participate in research and the global exchange of knowledge."
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Temple University President Richard Englert said in a statement that the order "has caused uncertainty and anxiety for members of the Temple community and all of higher education."
The North Philadelphia school advised anyone from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to not travel until more can be known about the order.
"We hope the coming days and weeks will provide greater clarity, for the benefit of you as individuals and for Temple and other institutions of higher education," said Englert.
"Temple prides itself on being a community of diverse scholars, many of whom come to us from foreign nations. We are committed to enabling our faculty, students and visitors -- both from the U.S. and from locations around the globe -- to contribute to the vitality of the education we provide and the role we play in the local, regional and global economy. We embrace diversity as integral to our mission of education and discovery. Temple is a better university because of this diversity."
Princeton University also "strongly advised" its impacted students and scholars to avoid traveling outside of the United States until more is revealed about the executive order.
"We do, however, want ... to express our deep concern about any potential impact on the ability of this and other American universities to engage in teaching and research of the highest quality," wrote Deborah Prentice, a professor of psychology and public affairs at the Ivy League school, in an email to her colleagues.
Drexel University President John Fry assured students from the Philadelphia university that the administration planned to support international students and staff "by every measure possible." They also echoed other universities' suggestions for students from the banned countries not travel until more is known.
"The chaotic implementation of the presidential order over this weekend -- with key provisions modified, and others halted by federal judges on Saturday -- has only intensified our shared concerns," said Fry. "As evidenced by statements issued across the landscape of American higher education, such a blanket ban is antithetical to many of the values we cherish. Drexel believes in inclusion and equality, and we are committed to celebrating and recognizing the fruits of diversity and global engagement."
In a statement Sunday, La Salle President Colleen Hanycz advised students from the impacted countries to avoid international travel for at least 90 days.
"La Salle has throughout its history welcomed students from countries around the world, and is deeply concerned with their wellbeing," said Hanycz. "We encourage students from the seven affected countries to contact the Multicultural and International Center at 215.951.1948 or stop by their offices located at 1900 West Olney Avenue (directly across the street from College Hall) for additional information."
Students and staff at other universities should contact their university’s international affairs office with any questions about college policy about the immigration ban. [[238427591, C]]