Statement from RIT President Munson in response to the July 6 ICE directive

RIT values our international students and recognizes that they contribute greatly to the intellectual and social fabric of our university, whether they participate in coursework online or in the classroom. For those reasons alone, we join many other colleges and universities in strongly opposing the July 6 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive that would strip foreign college students of their visas if their coursework is entirely online.

RIT is planning its fall semester on a model that will mix a high percentage of in-person classes with online offerings, which should allow our international students to remain in Rochester and continue their studies. Our effort is guided by science and health considerations and will follow the guidelines established by New York state.

Should fully online instruction become necessary, the ICE directive could have serious implications for our international students, as well as the future of global education. We worry about the health and safety of our international students who might suddenly be forced to travel home, navigating an already heavily disrupted international travel network.

We know this directive likely has our international students anxious and concerned. RIT is monitoring ongoing discussions of this issue at the federal level and is in touch with our Congressional delegation to elicit support for our international students. We also are working with national associations in asking Congress to intervene directly. We pledge to do our utmost to ensure our international students can retain their visa status and continue their studies on our ​campus in a way that best suits them and their academic paths.