A Message from the Interim President: A Victory for International Students

Dear Graduate Center Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The Trump administration’s decision, announced yesterday, to walk back from its misguided rule that required international students to take in-person classes in order to remain in this country is a victory for our students and for all of higher education.

The policy change was announced yesterday at the start of a hearing in the federal lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT. The reversal underscores the power of advocacy, including that of CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, who denounced the July 6th rule. More than 200 other colleges and universities had filed supporting briefs or their own lawsuits. The attorneys general of 20 states also sued the federal government, and leading technology companies came out against the policy yesterday.

This is welcome and wonderful news for our international students and for all of us at The Graduate Center. Our international students are a vital part of our community, and, under the new agreement, they are again allowed to take their classes online and receive student visas to remain in this country.

Universities will have to remain alert to further efforts to block international students, which might be tried on a less dramatic scale. We are aware that we can’t take anything for granted, but universities have shown they can work together to resist such efforts.

Chancellor Matos Rodríguez announced last week that the CUNY Board of Trustees has given the University latitude to plan course offerings for the fall in accordance with the needs of our students and the health of our community. We are planning in coordination with CUNY to offer a mix of online and hybrid (online and in-person) courses.

We will keep our students and our whole community apprised of our plans as well as policies and guidelines issued by the University and the state.

In the meantime, let us revel in a true win for our international students and for all of higher education.

James Muyskens
Interim President

Submitted on: JUL 15, 2020

Category: COVID-19 | International Students | President's Office - Archive