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Dean Raman July 2020: Supporting our International Students

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Dear Engineering Community,

We stand against bias, hate, and discrimination. Unfortunately, as a society we have been facing an avalanche of discriminatory actions, primarily focused on people of color.  The latest outrage is the federal action threatening international students who attend educational institutions seeking to keep their students safe from coronavirus by implementing remote learning. As the UMass IPO office has written, this “is a continuation of consistently poorly written and unsatisfactorily considered federal public policy on immigration.”

We understand that international students currently in the country are feeling great fear and confusion due to the announcement of these rules. You may have seen that a number of other institutions are pursuing legal action to block these rules, and a near term positive outcome would be a stay on their implementation until these cases can be resolved. Of course this outcome is not assured.  Please know that we at UMass Amherst and the College of Engineering are likewise doing everything we can to protect our international students from this attack on valued members of our community. We believe we will find solutions to keep international students safe and allow them to continue their education in the most effective way possible.

We thank our College of Engineering community for the outpouring of support we have already received.  If you are looking for help, or if you are interested in helping, please give us your information and ideas in this SURVEY.

More generally, we again invite you to join the College of Engineering Allies for Equity, an initiative launched in the spring to support meaningful conversations and initiatives necessary to ensure that we rise to the challenge of building a more supportive and inclusive environment within the college, UMass Amherst, and the nation: please use this link — https://tinyurl.com/UMassEnginAllies. We will be holding two “all hands” Allies meetings in the coming weeks to discuss action items to address the multitude of issues our many valued community members are facing.

Sincerely,

Dean Sanjay Raman's signature

Sanjay Raman 
Dean, College of Engineering 
University of Massachusetts Amherst