Sent on behalf of: Ariel C Armony, Vice Provost for Global Affairs
In a moment of so much uncertainty, I am reaching out to you to convey a very clear message: The University of Pittsburgh is committed to protecting your rights to pursue your education in the United States and maintain your safety, and your health. As Chancellor Gallagher stated forcefully in August 2019 when speaking to all the international members of our community, “You belong here.”
We are working tirelessly to protect the start, continuation or completion of your studies at Pitt, regardless of the new challenges that we are all facing as the pandemic continues to chart its course.
I am angry about the news that we received this week concerning new Department of Homeland Security guidance for international students. I was an international student in the 1990s, and I know firsthand how much pressure you face when choosing to study in the U.S. and how hard you work to obtain your degrees. This situation makes that pressure greater, but please know that there are many people at Pitt who are working to provide you with the best course of action—now, in the fall and beyond.
I want to reiterate that our Flex@Pitt instruction and learning model is fully supportive of international students and in compliance with Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement guidance. Pitt has no plans to allow any degree program to go online only this fall. And the fact that Flex@Pitt allows the flexibility to move within the various operating postures (including periods of online-only instruction) does not mean international students will be required to leave the country during those interim online periods.
As you know, universities around the United States are reacting very strongly against this federal policy. We have joined our peers in the Association of American Universities—as well as other local, state and national allies—in demanding that the Trump administration reverse this absurd, draconian policy, which flies in the face of Pitt’s values.
We will continue to communicate with you regularly through the Office of International Services to provide all the necessary updates and information as we do all we are able to protect your health and safety while providing you the conditions to continue your education.
Ariel C. Armony (he, him, his)
Vice Provost for Global Affairs
Director, University Center for International Studies
Professor of Public & International Affairs and Political Science