Division News & Statements

President Haas: GVSU welcomes internationals

January 29, 2017

Updated message from President Thomas J. Haas:

January 30, 2017

This message is to update our campus community concerning the executive order issued by President Donald Trump affecting international students and employees at Grand Valley State University. Much remains uncertain regarding the impact of the order, so much assurance is needed.

First, we do not know of any students, faculty or staff members stranded outside of the country or impeded in their travels. Second, the university does not release any private student information or records. They are protected under FERPA — the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Grand Valley complies with federal requirements to operate and manage international programs. The university has a long history of welcoming students and scholars without regard for their immigration status and that practice will continue. Central to Grand Valley’s mission is the value of inclusion, and we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion or race. 

We are taking every available step to ensure the safety of our university community and to provide any support we can. The Padnos International Center is reaching out to students who may be impacted by the order, and Human Resources is reaching out to faculty and staff members whose visas and work permits may be affected.

My administration and the Padnos International Center will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update the campus community as we learn new information.

Very respectfully,

Thomas J. Haas

Message from President Thomas J. Haas, sent to campus community on January 29, 2017:

Good morning. As this is written, there is much uncertainty revolving around executive orders issued by President Trump that affect international study, travel, the employment of faculty from and the enrollment of students from other nations. This much is certain: Grand Valley will continue its long tradition of study abroad and welcoming to our campus students and faculty from other lands. These activities enrich our campus and prepare our graduates to succeed wherever their learning takes them. Engagement with the world is a hallmark of Grand Valley and it has my absolute support; maintaining it is one of my most important duties as your president. 

Toward that end, I have directed staff from the Padnos International Center to be in touch with students who may be impacted by the orders and to provide regular updates as circumstances may require. I have also asked the Department of Human Resources to communicate with faculty and staff whose visas or work permits may be affected. As further detail and guidance comes from federal agencies we will be sure to share it with those impacted.

We will take every available step to ensure that Grand Valley's commitments to students, faculty, staff, and our international partners are fulfilled. I encourage any member of the Grand Valley family who is experiencing an immediate problem to contact the appropriate office for assistance — students at the Padnos International Center in Lake Ontario Hall, faculty and staff at Human Resources in Zumberge Hall. 

Very respectfully,

Thomas J. Haas

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Page last modified January 29, 2017