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Updates and Resources
Colgate University embraces the differences of background, religion, and national origin that contribute to our educational community.

Update: September 5, 2017

Statement on the ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium presidents — including Colgate University President Brian W. Casey — sent the following letter to members of New York’s Congressional and Senate delegations today, following President Donald J. Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

We write to express our deep concern about President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). That program benefits some 800,000 young people for whom the United States is home, and who are valued and productive members of our society, as students, employees, community members, and taxpayers.

As presidents of institutions that increasingly reflect the remarkable diversity of our country, we witness daily the tremendous benefit that the presence of immigrants brings to our communities. DACA beneficiaries have been outstanding students on our campuses; their presence has enriched the learning environment for all of our students. We fear that the end of DACA will make our campuses, our communities, and our country less successful and culturally robust.

We hope you will support swift legislative action to codify the principles of DACA so that those who qualify for its protections may live in this country free from the fear of deportation, enabling them to continue to contribute to the economic and cultural well-being of our nation.

We are proud to be part of upstate New York communities that have embraced immigrants and refugees from all corners of the globe for many decades. They are our students, our colleagues, our neighbors, and our friends. Supporting legislation to retain the protections of DACA “will ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hopeful society this world has ever known (George W. Bush).”


Stephen Ainlay, President
Union College

Brian Casey, President
Colgate University

William Fox, President
St. Lawrence University

Philip Glotzbach, President
Skidmore College

Gregory Vincent, President
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

David Wippman, President
Hamilton College

Previous Messages

  • February 28, 2017

    Joint Statement from Colgate University and Hamilton College

    Dear Members of the Hamilton College and Colgate University Communities,

    As you know, recent changes to federal immigration law and policy have caused concern on both of our campuses, and across the nation. Although federal courts have temporarily blocked implementation of President Trump’s January 27th executive order, new changes to federal law are under consideration, in both the executive branch and the Congress.

    While we cannot know the form these changes will take, we are committed to maintaining open and welcoming campus environments and intent on providing as much support to members of our communities as we can. We also believe that joining our efforts will better support our students, faculty, and staff.

    With this in mind, we will begin sharing Colgate and Hamilton programs, resources and expertise across our two campuses. Our close proximity and, more importantly, shared values make this possible. Among other things, we will work together to assist those students on our campuses who, in light of evolving immigration laws, are reconsidering their summer plans and may need help finding summer employment or housing. We will also assist Colgate and Hamilton seniors seeking to plan for the impact of the changing law on their post-graduation employment opportunities. And we will examine ways to provide additional legal guidance on immigration-related issues to members of our community who need it.

    As a first step administrators on both campuses are reaching out to students to see what support they might need, particularly in the summer months, and are exploring whether programs and services located on either campus might be of help to them as they navigate this changing landscape.

    We take these steps together because we believe that values of diversity, tolerance, and community are central to our educational mission as liberal arts institutions.

    We look forward to working together in support of all Colgate and Hamilton students, faculty, and staff in these ways and in future joint endeavors.

    David Wippman, President, Hamilton College
    Brian W. Casey, President, Colgate University
  • February 8, 2017
    On January 27, without notice, President Trump signed an executive order suspending entry into the United States for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days and for Syrian refugees indefinitely. This order unjustly targets the citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, including talented, law-abiding students and scholars from these nations, which directly impedes Colgate’s educational mission and attacks some of our core values.

    As an institution of higher learning, Colgate is committed to the free exchange of ideas and the unfettered movement of people; we believe in the liberating power of knowledge and the importance of using and developing talents of all for the benefit of humanity. We embrace the differences of background, religion, and national origin that contribute to our educational community. Policies that damage opportunities for intellectual community are anathema to our values.

    Colgate University opposes this executive order, which undercuts the principles of the academy and the values of our nation.

    Our response to this order, which will evolve as the federal landscape evolves, will include collective action in support of our principles and practical support for members of our community. This web page provides an update on the steps that are in process.

    Taking care of the members of our community remains a guiding principle, even as we seek to overturn this executive action. To that end, we announce the following:
    • We have arranged for Kseniya Premo, an attorney from the law firm Bond, Schoeneck and King, to give a presentation on campus late next week on the executive order and the current status of judicial proceedings. While she is on campus, Ms. Premo, who is an expert in immigration matters, will be available to answer questions that individual students, faculty, and staff may have about the EO and its impact on their immigration status. Colgate has also arranged for an immigration attorney to come to campus monthly to hold individual meetings with students, faculty, and staff. Further information about Ms. Premo’s presentation and individual meetings with her and other attorneys will be publicized as soon as arrangements are finalized. In the meantime, any student with urgent concerns should contact Kerra Hunter, assistant dean and director of the International Student Services Office; faculty and staff should contact Kim Waldron, associate vice president for administration.
    • Anticipating that some of our international students may decide that they should not travel to their home countries over the summer, we will provide these students with housing, services, and support. We will also expand opportunities for intellectual and social engagement over the summer and are beginning to work both on campus and with the institutions in the New York Six consortium to identify and increase these offerings.
    • The Center for Career Services is preparing to work closely with international students as they explore post-graduation employment opportunities in the United States because work visas for these graduates may become increasingly complex.
    • The educational studies department is planning a series of brown bag discussions and workshops that will be open to the campus and local community, focusing on issues related to immigration policies and immigrant/worker rights. The first of these, “Know Your Rights Workshop,” is Tuesday, February 21, at 11:30 a.m. at the Center for Women’s Studies. As more of these events are scheduled, information will be added to this webpage.
    As additional initiatives are developed, this webpage will offer regular updates on these issues and their impact on our campus. It will include the messages that have been sent to our community and updates like this one as the situation continues to unfold.
  • January 29, 2017
    Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,

    On Friday President Trump issued an executive order regarding immigration from selected nations and new practices regarding border screening. While a court order has temporarily stopped the order and these new enforcement practices, we must remain aware of the potential impact on those members of our community who are traveling and those who live and work on this campus. We are in contact with attorneys who are experts in immigration and security policies to gain their guidance and to see how we can best support Colgate community members. I am also in contact with staff at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, our representative body in Washington, D.C., to see what guidance and support they can provide.

    The care and support of all members of this community—regardless of religion, national origin, or immigrant status—is an essential core guiding principle for all of us. We have reached out to those at Colgate who we believe could be affected by this new order. If, however, you, or anyone you know, is or might be affected by this order please contact the Office of the Dean of the College, the Office of International Student Services, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Human Resources or my office.

    As we continue to monitor this situation and continue to work with our attorneys, we will update the university community on any new methods of support or new services we can provide.

    Until then, please continue to look out for one another.

    Most sincerely,

    Brian W. Casey
  • January 18, 2017
    Members of the Colgate Campus Community,

    I write to articulate the university’s position on a matter that bears on our identity as a caring community dedicated to the well-being of all.

    There have been recent calls in this country for changes in federal immigration policy. In an uncertain environment, it is important to establish some clear principles to guide us through this time. Last month, I charged a group composed of faculty members, administrators, and members of the university’s Board of Trustees to advise me on establishing a framework for the university’s position on federal immigration policy. The advisory group consisted of Constance Harsh (Interim Dean of the Faculty and Provost; Professor of English), Steve Fabiani (Vice President and Chief Information Officer), John Palmer (Associate Professor of Educational Studies; Chair of the Department of Educational Studies; Arnold A. Sio Chair in Diversity and Community; and Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity), Nicole Simpson (Professor of Economics; Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Initiatives), Kerra Hunter (Assistant Dean and Director of International Student Services) and Trustees Michael Herling ′79 and Gus Coldebella ′91. I would like to thank the group for its efforts, which have informed the preparation of this memorandum.

    The federal policy environment is uncertain and we cannot foresee every eventuality. But we do know that a strong sense of community is central to who we are. Whatever may come, Colgate remains firmly dedicated to supporting the needs of every member of our campus community. We continue to believe, in the words of our Mission Statement, that successful residential education is not possible without attentiveness to “the particularities of our individual lives.” Further, “learning must serve life, and the opportunity to live together in a variety of settings encourages interpersonal exploration, expands mutual understanding, and supports a broadened perspective within a caring, humane community.”

    Therefore, we are committed to the following policies and practices:

    We do not and will not screen student applicants based on immigration status.
    We meet, and will continue to meet, the full financial need of every enrolled student without regard to immigration status.
    We do not and will not disclose private information about our students, faculty, or staff unless specifically required to do so by law.
    Our Campus Safety staff does not and will not collect immigration status information from students. They have never engaged in the enforcement of immigration laws, and they will not begin to do so.
    Our campus is private property, and we do not and will not permit unwarranted searches or investigations.
    It is clear that we will need to continue considering these issues as we remain an institution that complies with federal laws and regulations across a variety of areas. It is also clear that some community members will require specific support if federal immigration policy evolves. Because of this I have charged the Offices of the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the College, and Human Resources to develop assistance strategies that will include programming, legal advice, and supportive outreach. I will also continue to seek counsel from members of the on-campus community, university legal counsel, and colleagues at other institutions as we continue to monitor these issues.

    Thank you to those who have reached out to me with your thoughts and concerns about these issues and will continue to help guide Colgate in support of our students, faculty and staff at this time.

    Most sincerely,

    Brian W. Casey