Jan. 30, 2017

Dear UNT community,

Last Friday, President Trump, through an Executive Order, imposed a temporary ban on all immigrant and nonimmigrant entry to the United States from seven Muslim-dominant nations —  Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. We are deeply concerned about the well-being of members of our community who may be impacted by evolving immigration policies and practices, and we want all of our students, faculty and staff to know we are dedicated to their safety, security and success.

Our university family is greatly enriched by the more than 2,500 international students from more than 130 countries. Students, faculty and staff members from around the globe contribute to the rich learning, research, scholarship and cultural experiences that are at the very heart of our university and our standing as a public research university. 

I want to assure you that we are reaching out to members of our university community from the affected nations to offer support and guidance during this confusing and difficult time. We are coordinating with the UNT International Office and are in contact with other universities, national associations and immigration experts to seek clarity on some of the issues and questions that are of concern. 

As we seek more information about how this new federal restriction on immigration will be implemented, you should be aware that if you are a citizen of one the seven nations and you leave the U.S., even for an emergency, you will not be able to return during the temporary ban, possibly longer. For citizens of other countries, if you travel outside the U.S., you may experience increased visa delays and re-entry rules could change while you are travelling.

If you have questions about travel-related issues or immigration policies and practices, please contact the UNT-International Office at 940-565-2197.

Meanwhile, it's worth noting our university's position on non-discrimination, privacy and public safety.

  • UNT welcomes and supports members of our community without regard to country of origin or immigration status. We endeavor to foster an environment in which each member of our university family can flourish, and we enforce our non-discrimination policy.
  • In the management of our international programs, UNT complies with federal laws and requirements. The university doesn't otherwise share information about immigration status.
  • In the performance of their duties, the UNT Police Department doesn't inquire about or record immigration status, excepting as required by law. The enforcement of immigration law rests with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, not our campus police.
  • UNT remains strongly committed to the privacy of student records, including immigration status, for all students, consistent with state and federal laws.

The university has many resources available to help members of our community.

  • Students may receive free, confidential counseling though UNT's Counseling and Testing Services, which can be reached at 940-565-2741.
  • Students may receive free legal assistance through Student Legal Services at 940-565-2614.
  • UNT's CARE Team, works to help protect the health, safety and welfare of members of our community, especially students, and can be reached at 940-565-4373 or careteam@unt.edu.
  • Faculty and staff members may obtain free short-term, confidential counseling services through our Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-343-3822.

If anyone feels unsafe, please call the UNT Police at 940-565-3000 or dial 911 for assistance. UNT has emergency phones throughout campus that connect directly to the police department.

As always, UNT remains committed to growing our global perspectives and awareness by continuing to lawfully recruit into our university community and support academically talented students, faculty and staff members.

Our diversity makes us stronger, and our greatest attribute is our caring community. Please join me in ensuring UNT is a welcoming and supportive environment for all. We will continue to do all that we can to ensure your success.


Neal Smatresk