Message from the Provost and the Chief Diversity Officer on post-election concerns

Dear members of the Vanderbilt community,
We have recently clearly heard concern from many, with particular fear and anxiety regarding those in our community who are undocumented, or have undocumented family members, or those who are Muslim. We stand with all members of the Vanderbilt community, of all backgrounds, including those who feel particularly at risk given the recent election.
In light of what we have heard, we wanted to share the following information: 
  • We are committed to providing all our students, faculty and staff with a safe and welcoming environment, and ensure their continued ability to thrive on our campus.
  • The Vanderbilt University Police Department has not, does not and will not ask individuals for citizenship information. This is an existing practice that we will continue to follow.
  • Vanderbilt University Police Department has not, does not and will not target or conduct surveillance of individuals based solely on race, ethnicity, nationality or religion.
  • Vanderbilt University Police Department has not, does not and will not voluntarily share information with ICE or CBP, has no memoranda of understanding with ICE or CBP and will not voluntarily enter into one.
  • Vanderbilt does not share citizenship or immigration information about its students except as required by law.
  • Vanderbilt is opposed to and will not voluntarily participate in a registry of Muslim individuals. We also condemn the concept of a registry of any individual based solely on race, religion, nationality, or ethnicity.
  • We condemn Islamophobia and acts of violence and bias against Muslims. We also condemn any similar actions against other groups and stand in support of those of all faiths, races, ethnicities, nationalities, gender expressions or sexual orientation. We will never tolerate acts of hate against any individual on our campus.
  • The University supports the continuation of the DACA program and has joined more than 475 other college and university presidents in calling on President-elect Trump to support its continuation and extension.
  • The University respects those who have asked Vanderbilt to become a “sanctuary campus.” Importantly, the University has and will continue to enforce the above practices and uphold the above commitments to the extent legally possible. Thus, the University functions as a sanctuary in many ways; however, as the concept requested may bring greater enforcement risk to those on our campus, we cannot declare ourselves a “sanctuary campus.”
We have appreciated the many forms of campus expression on these matters and look forward to continued dialogue with all members of the Vanderbilt community.
Susan R. Wente, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
George C. Hill, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer
*The fourth bullet in this message was updated from the original on Dec. 7 to correct a typographical error.