Universities In Arkansas Seek Clarification On Trump's Executive Order On Immigration

Jan 31, 2017

UA System President Donald R. Bobbitt

The president of the University of Arkansas System, Donald Bobbitt, says he is working with schools to gather information on the effect of President Trump's order on immigration.

In a statement Monday, he wrote:

In such a diverse system of higher education as ours that recognizes the many integral contributions international students, faculty, researchers and employees make on a daily basis, I understand the impact this decision can have on our campuses. It is in the true spirit of what institutions of higher learning can offer culturally and intellectually to honor and respect contributions from everyone, including those from the seven countries immediately impacted by the executive order.

Many chancellors issued statements on the matter, emphasizing the importance of diversity in the university setting.   

UA Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson said in a message to employees:

The details and ultimate impact of the travel restriction are still unclear, but hopefully guidance in the next few days will bring clarity to this situation.

Dr. Dan Rahn, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, wrote in his statement: 

We will continue to abide by our values and our policies. I encourage any of you with knowledge of any ramifications for members of our UAMS community as a result of the executive order to contact academic affairs or human resources.
I would like to restate that one of our core values is diversity. We have employees  from 86 countries, including four of the seven mentioned in the executive order. All of our employees and students are valued. We have been fortunate to attract some of the brightest health care professionals, scientists,  students, educators and staff members in the world. We must continue to be an inclusive community if we are to be effective.

Chancellor Joe Steinmetz of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville noted that "well over 100 people" on its campus are affected by the ban.

On the Facebook page for the Iranian Students Association at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the Director of International Students and Scholars, Michael Freeman, writes:

We invite you to join us for a conversation about the new travel ban for citizens of Iran. Because of limited space, this presentation is restricted to the community of the University of Arkansas who are citizens of countries affected by the recent travel ban. We will meet in the Graduate Student Lounge in Gearhart Hall (2nd floor, Northwest wing) at 5:00pm on Wednesday, February 1. A local immigration attorney, a law professor and the Dean of the Law School, ISS staff, and CAPS staff will provide information to you. We will have time for questions and sharing your concerns after the presentations.