Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Dear UNT community members,

Many of you likely have heard that the Department of Homeland Security decided to rescind guidance issued last week requiring international students to take at least one on-campus class in order to be enrolled at any U.S. university. I know this reversal relieves a huge burden placed on our international students during what is already a trying time.

As one of the first university presidents to support the amicus brief filed to protect these students, I am incredibly grateful that these students will have the opportunity to continue their studies uninterrupted. Our caring faculty and staff already had jumped into action to help our international students work through options to adjust their schedules to meet this requirement by enrolling in available face-to-face and hybrid courses, but I know this was causing unneeded stress.

All of our students - regardless of where they call home - are an important part of our campus community and absolutely deserve to have the same educational opportunities offered in our country. I am extremely proud of the diversity and perspectives these students add to our campus community - from enriching classroom discussions and campus activities to filling valuable roles as teaching and research assistants or serving on our research teams.

As we move forward, we will continue to support and care for our international students and help ensure they are able to progress toward their academic goals. Thank you to all of our students, faculty and staff who are supportive of each other and work toward creating a truly enriching global environment that values collaboration, creativity and innovation.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk

UNT President