RIT pledges support for international community

To: RIT Students, Faculty and Staff
From: President Bill Destler
Subject: Executive orders pertaining to immigration
Date: Feb. 1, 2017

The American Council on Education (ACE) has organized a sign-on letter for U.S. higher education institutions regarding the recent executive order on immigration. The letter is addressed to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly. The body of the letter expresses U.S. higher education’s principles concerning international students, researchers, faculty and staff.

I have signed the letter on behalf of RIT, joining a growing number of university presidents throughout the nation in addressing this critical matter.

Here are some key excerpts from the letter:

“We take seriously the need to safeguard our nation and also the need for the United States to remain the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest students, faculty, and scholars. International exchange is a core value and strength of American higher education. Moreover, our nation’s welcoming stance to scholars and scientists has benefited the U.S. through goodwill and a long history of scientific and technological advances that have been essential to the economic growth our country has experienced for decades. When they return home they are ambassadors for American values, democracy and the free market.”

The letter continues: “Our nation can only maintain its global scientific and economic leadership position if it encourages those talented people to come here to study and work. America is the greatest magnet for talented people from around the world and it must remain so.”

ACE is the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, representing nearly 1,800 college and universities.

As I stated this past Saturday, you have my assurance that we will continue to closely monitor and evaluate developments related to protecting the interests of RIT’s international community.

Cordially Yours,

Bill Destler