President and Provost: Message Regarding Immigration

January 29, 2017

To:  Members of the University Community

From:  Robert J. Zimmer, President, and Daniel Diermeier, Provost

Date:  January 29, 2017

Subject:  Message Regarding Immigration

At this moment of national concern on matters of immigration, we are writing to reaffirm, in the strongest terms, the commitment of the University of Chicago to our international students, faculty, and staff as well as to those members of our community with undocumented immigration status or who qualify for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We are committed to continued deep engagement and active exchange with students, faculty, and visitors from across the globe. 

Unnecessary restrictions on the flow of talented scholars and students into the United States damage the University’s capacity to fulfill its highest aspirations in research, education, and impact. This has been an important part of the University’s stance since its inception, and in the past decade we have actively sought to increase the presence on campus of those from around the world. We are committed to articulating the importance of this matter to policy makers, and we are committed to the direct support of those in our own community who may be affected by changes in current immigration policy.

The current situation is both fluid and of considerable uncertainty. The University has offered resources and support to individuals most directly impacted by the current climate and is working to provide additional resources to support members of our community through the Provost’s Office, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Office of Global Engagement. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) website,, is being updated as the situation develops and will provide details on information sessions for affected students and scholars that are being arranged with experts on immigration law.

The University is a member of Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities, which plays a significant role in advocacy regarding issues of common concern. The AAU issued a statement which we strongly support regarding the evolving immigration situation after the recent executive order.

This is a challenging moment around an issue of critical importance for us all. We look forward to working together within the University and with partners outside the University to address the human and policy issues vital to the University’s ability to welcome scholars and students from all nations and backgrounds.

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