September 6, 2017
Dear Wittenberg Community,
With the White House announcing plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the coming months, I am writing to reaffirm that Wittenberg stands with all our students who are directly or indirectly affected by this decision. All students, regardless of their national origin or immigration status, enrich our community of learners, and their presence is an important element in fostering the inclusiveness envisioned by our founder and first president, Ezra Keller.
To keep our voice clearly heard during this challenging time, I am joining with fellow AICUO presidents in urging lawmakers to uphold the provisions of DACA and to allow those affected to stay at their respective Ohio college or university. I have signed a letter to Congress and am monitoring the next steps being taken by several professional educational organizations, including NAICU, ACE, AGB, and AAC&U.
Additionally, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has issued a response, which also calls on Congress to find a permanent solution to protect these talented young people. In the words of ELCA Presiding Bishop, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton: “Our churches, our schools, our communities and the country are enhanced by their presence and contributions. It is time that our immigration policy reflects their gifts to all of us.”
As to assisting our own students, I have requested that our Offices of Student Development and International Education continue to monitor the impact of this decision on students and their families. Both offices are available for support. We will also continue to protect the privacy of student records within the limits of the law.
At Wittenberg, our mission speaks to global citizenship, compassion, calling, service, and integrity. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to ensure a just and equitable tomorrow for our current students and future generations.
Michael L. Frandsen, Ph.D.
President, Wittenberg University