SUNY and CUNY were founded to provide the opportunity of higher education to all New Yorkers, including those who would not be admitted to other institutions of higher education because of their race, religion, national origin, or other factors.
As SUNY presidents from across the university system gathered in Albany today for their regular meeting, SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall shared the following statement on behalf of him and CUNY Board of Trustees Chairman William C. Thompson, Jr.:
“We as Chairmen resoundingly decry and oppose President Trump’s recent executive action attempting to deny entry into the United States for individuals from seven countries of “concern.” Not only does this display stand in opposition to the fundamental ideals of our country, it undermines the values of American higher education and threatens our economic advancement as a nation.
“Since its inception, our nation has benefited dramatically from the scientific, cultural and economic contributions of immigrants, international students and international scholars. The free exchange of scholarship and ideas from around the world is a key strength of our public university systems and is essential to the economic competitiveness of New York State and the nation.
“The State University of New York enrolls over 22,000 international students from 180 countries, including 370 students from the seven countries. The City University of New York has 8,881 international students, including 120 from the affected countries.
“America’s reputation as a welcoming destination for the best and brightest talent from around the world, and as an academic and economic leader, is threatened by intolerance. If our institutions of higher learning are to remain true to our pursuit of academic freedom and the democratic exchange of ideas, this action must not stand.”
In addition to today’s statement and earlier positions taken by both SUNY and CUNY, The State University of New York and many of its campuses signed on to a letter from the American Council on Education emphasizing the important role of international students, faculty, researchers, and staff in furthering pubic higher education nationally. SUNY has also established a website on the topic to provide students and their families with updated information as it becomes available.