As many of you know, we have more than 80 international students from more than 25 countries at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Our international students contribute so much to our campus life. Their diversity of thoughts and ideas enrich our understanding of the world. In our classrooms they bring different perspectives of history, religion, culture and politics, among other areas. On the playing field, athletes like Xavier, Ibu Jassey and others proudly wear a Golden Eagle jersey. Many of you have shared the cuisine of Nigeria, New Zealand and other places, with food prepared by our international students at their global dinners. And how many of you have attended a concert and listened to the beautiful melodies played by Jiwon (Peter) Park, a talented pianist from South Korea.
The list of how our international students enrich our lives goes on and on. I am sure each one of us has had a special moment with our international students.
Unfortunately, yesterday the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued guidance specific to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that does not allow international students in the U.S. to be enrolled in a fully online curriculum and would require these students to leave the country.
International students should not be penalized for the public health measures that the Federal Government, via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our own Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are suggesting as virus control measures.
Along with the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, we stand with our international students. Universities across the United States are incorporating online education into their course content as we all do our part to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In support of our international students, we are:
• Reviewing our plans for fall semester to be delivered through hybrid instruction (both in-person and online), such that we can accommodate in-person classes where required to ensure compliance with this new guidance.
• Working with our International Student and Scholar Services team to build a coordinated response from the University.
• Identifying resources across our system to help our international students, including those provided by our Immigration Response Team.
Our commitment, to all of our students, will not waver.
- Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause