Chair Talk 3.21 Next Steps re Immigration & Related Matters

Monday, March 13, 2017

Chair Talk 3.21   Next Steps in Faculty Senate Statements re Immigration and Related Matters 
Faculty Colleagues,

Having received overwhelming support (96%) from the more than 100+ faculty who responded to the previous Chair Talk and the first drafts of several possible Faculty Senate Resolutions, we have decided to move ahead and introduce revised versions -- now simplified and written as Statements -- to the Senate for adoption.  Thanks to those of you who responded - your suggestions for changes were incorporated where possible.  Those paying close attention will notice that a third Statement, closely related to the other two, has been added.  This one deals specifically with international students coming to study at the UA, an issue that had been overlooked, and which did not fit comfortably under either of the others.

The next step in this process is for the Statements to be brought before the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, which will discuss them and decide whether or not they should be put on the Senate Agenda.  If you have any further thoughts please send them to me, or to Michael Brewer, who is acting as Chair of the Faculty this semester while I am in Australia.

Lynn Nadel
Chair of the Faculty
Regents Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science
University of Arizona

The Importance of Immigration to American Higher Education

The United States as a country has historically been both a beacon and a refuge for immigrants who have sought both to leave behind conflict situations and, more generally, to pursue the many opportunities provided by this great country.  During the course of the twentieth century many of the country’s leading scientists and researchers, individuals who have brought great distinction to American universities, were themselves individuals who had fled oppression and violence in their homelands. These refugees, and other immigrants who came to the United States from less fraught situations, have made and continue to make major contributions to American higher education and to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life, as well as to America’s economic and military security.

The University of Arizona Faculty Senate urges the Congress and President of the United States to recognize that in either limiting or denying access to individuals seeking to immigrate to the United States, and especially those fleeing violence and oppression, we are likely undermining the future economic, moral, scientific, technological and military position of the country.

The Importance of International Students to American Higher Education

Students from all over the world come to study in American universities, including the University of Arizona.  These students enrich our universities through sharing their diverse cultures and experiences, and through the study and research that they do here. Having people who have spent time and studied in the United States distributed around the world will, in the long run, improve our relations with other countries,

The University of Arizona Faculty Senate urges the rejection of policies that prevent foreign students from studying in the United States, or that create a climate in which foreign students are reluctant to study in the United States, as these policies are damaging to our educational institutions and, in the long run, damaging to the interests of the United States.

The Impact of Immigration Restrictions on the Ability to Pursue Scholarly Endeavors

American universities have a strong tradition of carrying out scholarly endeavors throughout the world.  The fruits of such endeavors play a major role in enabling the United States to better understand the cultures of the world’s countries and thus more effectively compete economically in the international arena.  The scholarship carried out by American academics throughout the world enriches not only America’s university students but the entirety of American society.  The increasing controversy surrounding both the development of new policy in the area of immigration and related matters has given rise to growing anti-American attitudes, dismay among our colleagues abroad and even a movement to boycott international conferences held in the United States, severely hindering scholarly collaboration.

The University of Arizona Faculty Senate expresses its grave concern that these public policies jeopardize scholarly collaboration with colleagues abroad, diminishing the quality and impact of future scholarship.