UK Provost Tim Tracy and I issued a joint statement to the UK campus today in response to the Executive Order on immigration. The statement was sent to all UK employees and students via email. It is below in its entirety.
Our University is home to students from every state and more than 115 countries. Faculty from around the globe choose to teach, conduct research, and provide healing here. Staff and administrators come from large cities and small provinces around the world to work tirelessly in support of our collective work to teach, to train, to create, and to heal.
All are welcome and all belong as we strengthen and sustain a rich, global community on our campus. This is an academic imperative and a moral one. We have made this clear in our UK Governing Regulations.
It is against that backdrop that we are closely monitoring the events unfolding since a federal Executive Order was issued late Friday suspending the admission of immigrants and non-immigrants who are citizens of seven countries.
Over the weekend, a large number of lawsuits were filed and federal courts in several jurisdictions appeared to block or limit portions of the executive order and its full implementation.
As the specific impact and status of this Order remain fluid, we are:
- Working to understand the impact of this Order; how it might affect our students, faculty and staff (particularly members of our UK family who are from those countries specifically named in the Order); and the implications of changes as legal and political events unfold. Our General Counsel office is thoroughly reviewing the Order and consequent lawsuits and court orders. Our Federal Relations Office is in close communication with the pertinent officials in Washington as well as the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
- Communicating through our International Center with potentially affected students and scholars about resources and support available to them. Members of the UK family with questions or concerns can reach out to International Student and Scholar Services in the International Center at 859-323-2121 or online at http://www.uky.edu/international/ for further information. Resources and support also are available through UK’s Office for Institutional Diversity (859-257-9293 or http://www.uky.edu/diversity/) and our Counseling Center (859-257-8701 or online at http://www.uky.edu/counselingcenter/).
- Cautioning every member of our community from the directly affected countries - and their families - to refrain from traveling abroad until we understand the Order, its impact, and its future implementation.
- Instructing academic administrators at all levels to reach out immediately to faculty, students, and staff to ensure everyone potentially affected understands what resources are available.
- Ensuring our University will cooperate with federal officials in accordance with the relevant federal laws.
- Insisting we will continue our unyielding posture of abiding by strong federal constitutional and statutory privacy rights of all members of the university community and recognizing those privacy rights prevent the disclosure of records.
This is a time of uncertainty and heightened anxiety for many in our community. We are committed to supporting our affected students and scholars during this unsettling time, and providing clarity, when possible, about the legal and political landscape.
We are an inclusive community where everyone - regardless of religion, identity, origin, or perspective - is welcome and should feel a sense of safety and belonging.
We must not let this moment drive us apart from one another. We should instead use this opportunity to become an even closer and mutually supportive community of students, faculty, and staff from every part of the globe.
We will continue to communicate as we learn more. In the meantime, please share this information with your colleagues and others as we seek to cast as wide a net as possible in communicating our efforts, our values, and our priorities.
Thank you for your abiding support for everyone in our community.
Eli Capilouto Tim Tracy