Message on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s guidance related to international students

Dear Vanderbilt community,

Many of you are likely concerned about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s guidance related to international students.

We want you to know that, as educators and researchers, we share these concerns and are strongly opposed to these actions and the potentially devastating consequences for international scholars and higher education in this country. This guidance is counterproductive, short-sighted, and, frankly, tarnishes America’s long history of groundbreaking scholarship, open collaboration and research, and deeply held ideals around the transformative power of education.

Please know that, along with our peer institutions, we have been advocating for additional support for international students enrolled at institutions of higher education so they can continue their studies. This is based on our belief that innovation and discovery that will allow the world to address its most pressing challenges, including the current public health crisis, can only come from the free exchange of ideas and a diversity of opinions, skills and backgrounds.

As Vanderbilt prepares for the fall semester amid a global pandemic, supporting our students’ health and well-being is our utmost priority. We know this is a tremendous time of upheaval in many ways, and we are seeking answers as fast as we can to better understand this latest development so that we may assist our students in navigating this period of uncertainty.

We will provide further information and guidance as soon as we can.


Daniel Diermeier

Susan R. Wente
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair