On January 29, I shared a statement with the University of Mississippi community about a recent Presidential Executive Order that limits immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The order also directed the suspension of the refugee admission program for 120 days, and indefinitely for refugee processing of Syrian nationals.
You have my commitment that we will focus upon what is truly best for the well-being, safety, and success of our students and our university. I want to assure all members of our community that as we closely monitor the long-term impact of the recent Presidential Executive Order, we will continue to do as we always have done: support all our students. We will also continue to abide by all federal and state laws, including federal constitutional and statutory privacy rights afforded members of the university.
Here are some of the ways we are supporting our international colleagues and some of the information we are providing to those in our community affected by this action:
- University administrators on the Oxford and Jackson campuses have individually and directly communicated with the 26 students and 11 faculty and staff members from these named countries who are affected by the executive order.
- At this time, we are advising all nonimmigrant-status students, faculty members, and staff members from the named countries to avoid travel outside the United States.
- Individuals from the affected countries who hold permanent resident status in the United States, as well as nonimmigrant-status individuals holding dual citizenship from these countries and a country other than the United States, are advised to consult with the Office of International Programs or an immigration attorney before traveling abroad.
- Housing accommodations will be available for affected students needing assistance over spring break and summer, if necessary.
- The Office of the Chancellor is reaching out to student groups to facilitate discussions on how UM can provide additional support to affected students.
- If you believe you may be affected by the executive order or are uncertain about whether these orders affect you or someone you know, we encourage you to contact the Office of International Programs. If you are seeking advice in confidence, you may call 662-915-7404. Additional resources and support are available from
I want to reiterate my frequently stated conviction that the many members of our international community enrich our Flagship university and add great value. As one of the key initiatives I highlighted in my investiture address on November 10, we will make our great learning and research environment even greater by expanding international presence on our campuses and educating our students to prosper in a global society.
I ask all members of the Ole Miss family to please join me and our leadership team in lending support to our international students, faculty, and staff. Having a robust international community — with its diversity of talents, cultures, and contributions — enriches and enhances the vitality of our university and our state.
Jeffrey S. Vitter