University News

WIU Responds to Executive Order

January 30, 2017

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Dear Western Illinois University Community:

Serious concerns have been raised on both Western Illinois University campuses and in this nation regarding the recent executive order from the White House, which impacts immigration and entry into the United States for persons from seven countries. To that end, WIU remains committed to our core values, which include: academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility.

At Western, we believe that scholarly activities are not bound by national borders. As president of this University, I want to make clear that students from all backgrounds who meet our admissions standards are welcome to pursue their studies here. An excerpt of our mission statement notes that, "Western Illinois University prepares a socially responsible, diverse student, faculty, and staff population to lead in the global society." As a result of institutional concerns, our commitment to all students, our core values, and our inclusive institutional culture, we are monitoring this sensitive issue in an effort to identify the best possible solutions for our students and prospective students who may be directly affected.

Like many of my colleagues across the nation, I signed in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, which provides temporary educational and employment opportunities for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors. We stand with our international students, faculty, and academic partners who help to make Western Illinois University a haven for learning and global perspectives. As we learn more about the implications of this federal policy, we will communicate with the University community. At this time, we ask that students and employees who may be affected by the executive order to defer international travel until further analysis and clarification can be provided.

Students who may have questions or need access to resources, please contact:

• Angie Veith, assistant director, International Admissions, 342 Memorial Hall, (309) 298-2426,

Faculty and staff who may have questions, please contact:

• Rica Calhoun, University Counsel, 208 Sherman Hall, (309) 298-3070,

Individuals who feel they are the subject of discrimination should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at (309) 298-1977 or e-mail Director Andrea Henderson at Incidents of harassment or criminal activity should also be reported to the Office of Public Safety at (309) 298-1949 or

Western Illinois University is genuinely committed to diversity and inclusion, and will remain a global community of scholars. This sentiment is embedded in our institutional values and carried forward in our practices to meet our mission and achieve our goals, while educating those persons who will make meaningful contributions to our society.


Jack Thomas

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