Dear Members of the Harvard Chan School Community,
Hopefully all of you have heard the heartening news that the White House has dropped its plan to bar international students from living in the U.S. while attending institutions that are offering courses online only. I stand with President Bacow and my colleagues throughout Harvard in celebrating this development. I also give thanks to all the other schools and universities across the country who stood in solidarity with our country’s global scholars.
This policy would have had deleterious and cascading effects on the educational pursuits of our international students and on public health at large. As I said in my note last week, our international students are the lifeblood of this School. They are essential to every learning and teaching pursuit we undertake, and inform the dialogues essential for the advancement of our field’s work. To threaten their presence in any way is to undermine the very mission of the Harvard Chan School.
Undoubtedly, an uncertain time has become less uncertain. And yet, I do not want to minimize the damaging mental health effects this tumultuous period has had on our international student body. For so many, the opportunity to study at Harvard represents the culmination of years if not decades of relentless hard work; to have that opportunity threatened in any way is unacceptable. I remain firm in my commitment to protect and defend the rights of all our scholars to pursue their professional dreams free of threat or fear.