February 20, 2017
To the University Community:
The White House issued a Presidential Executive Order (“Executive Order”) on January 27, 2017, which impacts members of the Norfolk State University Community. The Executive Order suspends the “entry into the United States” for 90 days (and possibly longer) to nationals from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This travel ban impacts the University Community, including our students, faculty, research scholars, and employees.
Many of you expressed to me your concerns regarding the implications of the Executive Order. As a diverse University Community, the possible implications and potential impact on affected students, faculty, staff, University operations, and the University mission and vision, are troubling at best.
The University’s mission statement encourages and recognizes the importance of global outreach. The University’s vision statement embraces diversity and respect for all people, cultures, ideas, beliefs, lifestyles, and perspectives. As a result, Norfolk State University joins hundreds of other State Colleges and Universities in its stance in support of the International Community on campus. There are already a number of lawsuits which have been filed that challenge the legality of the Executive Order and several federal courts have issued Temporary Restraining Orders. Significantly, the Commonwealth of Virginia filed a motion to intervene on January 31, 2017, alleging that the Commonwealth of Virginia and its people are being harmed by the Executive Order. On this past Tuesday, February 14, 2017, a federal court in Virginia imposed a preliminary injunction on the “travel ban” Executive Order. The injunction prevents enforcement of the Executive Order as it relates to Virginia residents of the seven listed countries. Clearly, the situation is fluid and subject to change at any time.
Because we are a diverse campus community, University officials are monitoring very closely the impact of this Executive Order. We are receiving guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney General’s Office as it relates to the Executive Order and will continue to communicate, as necessary, the latest developments to you: the University Community.
We have been in contact with and will continue to be available to our students, faculty and employees who may be affected by the Executive Order. The Office of the Provost and the Vice President for Student Affairs have participated in meetings, disseminated information, and made themselves available to students, administrators, faculty, and employees who may be affected by the travel ban.
I encourage students who have been affected or are concerned about the travel ban to seek information from O.A.S.I.S (Office of Accessibility Services/International Students), NSU Counseling Center, or from our Dean of Students Office. These offices are available to assist or provide guidance. We also recommend that students, faculty and staff from the countries listed in the Executive Order exercise caution, and restrict any travel outside of the United States until there is a better understanding of the situation.
Again, we are committed to supporting and advocating for our international community as their inclusion is crucial as we demonstrate our commitment to the NSU core values of diversity and inclusiveness. We will continue to seek guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney General’s Office as it relates to the U.S. Presidential Executive Order, and will provide up-to-date information and resources, as allowed, to those persons who have been affected.
Eddie N. Moore, Jr.
President and CEO