Published January 30, 2017
Dear University Community,
I am writing to let our university community know about some of the activities and actions taken by UB in response to the Friday, January 27, 2017 executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” as well as several other executive orders that may impact our foreign-born students, faculty, visiting scholars, and staff. We are assessing Friday’s executive order and actively monitoring the potential impact on members of the UB community who are from countries cited in the order.
Until there is clarity and legal analysis of the executive order, the university is advising that affected members of the university community monitor this evolving situation to assess how they may be impacted. In addition, we are advising our students to adhere to the recommendations of SUNY to suspend travel plans to the countries included in the executive order, and urge individuals affected to keep in contact with UB’s Office of International Education on a regular basis. The university will continue to provide updates to the university community as the situation becomes clearer and will continue to offer support and advice to members of our university community who may be affected by any changes in immigration law.
I would also like to note a January 24, 2017 resolution by the SUNY Board of Trustees which affirms SUNY policy that university police departments do not participate in the enforcement of federal immigration law unless compelled to do so by court order or other legal mandate. This is consistent with guidance issued recently by the New York State Attorney General regarding the participation of local law enforcement in federal immigration enforcement.
At UB, University Police does not and shall not routinely inquire about an individual’s immigration status and will not make inquiries into the immigration status of students, faculty, staff or our visitors unless there has been an arrest.
It is also important to note that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy characterizes colleges and universities as “sensitive locations”—meaning enforcement actions should not occur unless necessitated by extraordinary circumstances.
As I have stated in a previous message to the university community, as a matter of policy and practice at UB, the privacy of student educational records is protected pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
UB is an international community. And since our university’s founding in 1846, UB has been enriched by students, faculty and staff from around the world.
Regardless whether current and pending executive actions affect access to the U.S. for anyone from designated countries, UB is a welcoming campus for students, faculty and visitors from across the globe, and is committed to remaining so.
At UB, our international community contributes greatly to our research, education and engagement missions. Our international community benefits all of us, enhancing the diversity of our community, our global learning opportunities and the richness of our cultural and intellectual life.
We believe the diversity and global perspectives and experiences of our university community members—from our many students, faculty, and staff who have come to the U.S. from around the world—are among our most important institutional strengths and vital to our success as a premier public research university.
As president of UB, I promise to continue to uphold and protect these values that we hold dear.
Satish K. Tripathi