Statement from President ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76 and Executive Vice President and Provost Anita Thomas, PhD
As a women’s Catholic institution with a liberal arts foundation, St. Catherine University values inclusion and has always welcomed a diverse student body. We are disappointed with the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announcement regarding changes in requirements for international students. Learning is enhanced through the diverse voices of our students, faculty and staff, and we are committed to including and supporting international students in all of our programs.
St. Kate’s is working to ensure our international students are meeting the guidelines from the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The guidelines issued this week specify requirements for international students who hold F-1 visas that allow them to study at U.S. colleges and universities. The order would prohibit these students from entering or remaining in the country if their fall classes will be taught exclusively online. For the fall semester, courses at St. Kate’s will be delivered in three formats: face-to-face, hybrid, and online. Our Academic Advisors have worked with our international students to verify their enrollment in face-to-face and hybrid courses, and we continue to work with these students to ensure they have the support they need to continue pursuing their educational goals.
We have also taken actions to promote advocacy and legislative work to overturn the new policy and ensure that international students are not penalized for decisions universities make in order to address safety and public health concerns. We have signed the American Council on Education letter to Congress as part of our relationship with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. We also have signed an amicus brief in support of Harvard's and MIT's suit challenging the forthcoming ICE SEVP rules barring online study for international students through The Presidents' Alliance. Finally, Rep. Betty McCollum has communicated and received feedback from Minnesota Private College Council presidents regarding the order and the impact on our institutions, and has committed to working to protect our students.
We stand firm in our commitment to social justice and inclusive excellence. We will continue to monitor this situation and serve as advocates for our students.