Higher ed leaders ask Trump to rescind immigration order

On Feb. 2, Interim President Hunter Rawlings joined 47 other college and university presidents in signing a letter to President Donald J. Trump, urging him to rescind his executive order on immigration. The text of the letter and list of those who signed follows:

We write as presidents of leading American colleges and universities to urge you to rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country’s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world. If left in place, the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country.

The order specifically prevents talented, law-abiding students and scholars from the affected regions from reaching our campuses. American higher education has benefited tremendously from this country’s long history of embracing immigrants from around the world. Their innovations and scholarship have enhanced American learning, added to our prosperity, and enriched our culture. Many who have returned to their own countries have taken with them the values that are the lifeblood of our democracy. America’s educational, scientific, economic, and artistic leadership depends upon our continued ability to attract the extraordinary people who for many generations have come to this country in search of freedom and a better life.

This action unfairly targets seven predominantly Muslim countries in a manner inconsistent with America’s best principles and greatest traditions. We welcome outstanding Muslim students and scholars from the United States and abroad, including the many who come from the seven affected countries. Their vibrant contributions to our institutions and our country exemplify the value of the religious diversity that has been a hallmark of American freedom since this country’s founding. The American dream depends on continued fidelity to that value.

We recognize and respect the need to protect America’s security. The vetting procedures already in place are rigorous. Improvements to them should be based on evidence, calibrated to real risks, and consistent with constitutional principle.

Throughout its history America has been a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom in the world. It has attracted talented people to our shores and inspired people around the globe. This executive order is dimming the lamp of liberty and staining the country’s reputation. We respectfully urge you to rectify the damage done by this order.


Robert L. Barchi, President, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Kimberly W. Benston, President, Haverford College
Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President, Trinity College
George Blumenthal, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Cruz
Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University
Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University
Robert A. Brown, President, Boston University
Kimberly Wright Cassidy, President, Bryn Mawr College
Ronald J. Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University
John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University
Nicholas B. Dirks, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
Christopher L. Eisgruber, President, Princeton University
Adam F. Falk, President, Williams College
Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University
Patrick Gallagher, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
Howard Gillman, Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania
Andrew Hamilton, President, New York University
Philip J. Hanlon, President, Dartmouth College
Sam Hawgood, MBBS, Chancellor, University of California, San Francisco
Ralph J. Hexter, Interim Chancellor, University of California, Davis
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame
Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor, University of California, San Diego
Marvin Krislov, President, Oberlin College
David W. Leebron, President, Rice University
Ron Liebowitz, President, Brandeis University
Wallace D. Loh, President, University of Maryland, College Park
Anthony P. Monaco, President, Tufts University
David Oxtoby, President, Pomona College
Christina H. Paxson, President, Brown University
Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., President, Franklin & Marshall College
Carol Quillen, President, Davidson College
Hunter R. Rawlings III, Interim President, Cornell University
Clayton Rose, President, Bowdoin College
Peter Salovey, President, Yale University
Michael H. Schill, President, University of Oregon
Mark Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D., President, University of Michigan
Valerie Smith, President, Swarthmore College
Barbara R. Snyder, President, Case Western Reserve University
Debora L. Spar, President, Barnard College
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President, Stony Brook University
Sonya Stephens, Acting President, Mount Holyoke College
Claire E. Sterk, President, Emory University
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President, Stanford University
Satish K. Tripathi, President, University at Buffalo
Mark S. Wrighton, Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis
Henry T. Yang, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Barbara
Nicholas S. Zeppos, Chancellor, Vanderbilt University

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