To the campus community:
The recent executive order on immigration has caused confusion and anxiety among many members of our Volunteer family.
As the state’s flagship research university, we have a responsibility to enhance our education and research mission. We are committed to protecting the rights and opportunities extended to all members of our academic community, and we will continue to recruit, retain, and support faculty, staff, and students from around the world.
I want to reassure everyone, especially our international students and scholars, that the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and civility remains as strong as ever.
Since Friday afternoon, the Center for International Education has been working diligently to understand the implications of the executive order. Over the weekend, CIE staff communicated directly with students, faculty, and staff who hold visas from the seven countries named in the executive order to offer guidance and support.
The university remains actively engaged in understanding the details of what is still a very fluid set of circumstances and will continue to support all members of our campus community.
If you have concerns about your individual travel plans or family members outside the country, international student and scholar advisors are available at the CIE offices, 1620 Melrose Avenue. There will be additional staff available there today for those with urgent concerns.
Students who need additional support may also reach out to the Office of the Dean of Students at 865-974-3179.
As members of the Volunteer family, we are guided by our campus’s principles of civility and community. I ask you to take this opportunity to reach out to your fellow Volunteers, especially those who may be feeling uncertain or fearful, and help ensure that our campus is a welcoming community for everyone.
Jimmy G. Cheek