Students in class working on laptops

Updates Regarding Federal 2017 Immigration Changes

In light of rapidly changing developments following President Trump’s Jan. 27 Executive Order suspending entry to the U.S. by all refugees and individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Case Western Reserve has created this webpage to update members of the campus community.

Check here for the university’s guidance regarding the implications of new or revised policy announcements; messages from Case Western Reserve leaders; and statements from other institutions of higher education and their national organizations. This page also will provide links to offices and resources for international students, faculty and staff.

University Administration Communications

University Guidance Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Action on Travel Ban, June 26, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court today reinstated parts of the White House’s travel ban, but maintained exceptions for individuals with a credible claim of a relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.

As this time, the travel ban applies to foreign nationals —people who are not naturalized citizens—from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

In simplest terms, the Court’s ruling means that foreign nationals must be able to demonstrate genuine familial relationships with individuals in the U.S. or formal and documented relationships with organizations —including universities—in this country.

As always, Case Western Reserve continues to support and value our international students, staff, and faculty. While we are pleased that the justices recognized the “concrete hardship” involved in barring entry of those with clear reasons to enter the country, we still are assessing the decision’s legal and practical effects. In this context, we continue to recommend that members of our community from one of the six affected countries refrain from travel outside the U.S.

The Center for International Affairs encourages any member of the university community with questions involving international students to email or visit its offices in Room 143 of Tomlinson Hall. Those with questions regarding international faculty or staff should contact or call 216.368.4289.

We will provide updates as more information becomes available.

University Guidance Regarding Federal Judicial Orders, March 16, 2017

Today a federal judge in Maryland issued a ruling temporarily blocking provisions of President Trump’s March 6 Executive Order related to immigration. This decision followed a ruling last night from a federal judge in Hawaii that also temporarily halted implementation of the ban.

At a rally in Tennessee last night, President Trump said that the administration would pursue the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, the U.S. Justice Department issued a statement that it would continue to defend the order in the courts. Finally, yesterday a federal judge in Washington heard a challenge to the March 6 order, and is expected to release a decision on that case as well.

Given the dynamic nature of recent developments, university officials recommend that any member of the campus community who is from one of the six nations cited in the March 6 order consult with the appropriate university office (for students, the Center for International Affairs, and for faculty and staff, the Office of Human Resources) if they are contemplating travel outside the U.S.

University officials are reviewing the new rulings now and also will confer with outside experts and national higher education organizations to evaluate whether additional guidance is merited; if so, it will be posted on this website as well.

Meanwhile, the Center for International Affairs encourages any member of the university community with questions involving international students to email or visit their offices in Room 143 of Tomlinson Hall. Those with questions regarding international faculty or staff should contact Mark.Murray1@case.eduor call 216.368.4289.

University Guidance Regarding Federal Actions, March 6, 2017

Earlier today the White House issued a new Executive Order (EO) that takes effort March 16, 2017. On that date, the original Jan. 27 order is rescinded. Case Western Reserve officials are reviewing the details of the order carefully, and also monitoring legal and other developments that may affect its interpretation and/or implementation.

The university will post additional guidance for the community as soon as possible; meanwhile, the Center for International Affairs encourages any member of the university community with questions involving international students to email or visit their offices in Room 143 of Tomlinson Hall. Those with questions regarding international faculty or staff should contact or call 216.368.4289.

University Guidance Regarding Federal Actions, Feb. 4, 2017

Today both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State announced that it would comply with a federal judge’s Friday ruling that halted enforcement of President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order. The president’s order had suspended entry to the U.S. for all refugees and people from ​Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. However, the White House quickly said it will challenge the ruling in court.

Because of the extremely fluid nature of the situation, the university continues to recommend strongly that those from the seven countries cited refrain from travel outside the U.S.

From the President and Provost, Feb. 2, 2017

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of Case Western Reserve University:

It is said that in the most difficult of moments, character is revealed.

Your response to Friday’s executive order has shown our campus as a place of engaged, caring, and compassionate individuals.

From the people offering assistance to students from the countries the order cited… to the “all are welcome here” signs around Ford Auditorium Monday… to the countless hours staff and faculty have dedicated to trying to find answers for affected employees and students… your energy and efforts have been nothing short of inspiring.

For all you have done, and will do, we begin by saying “thank you.”

As we write today, the circumstances surrounding the order have become, if anything, even more fluid. We will continue to send email messages regarding major developments, but also have developed a website,, that the university will update regularly with campus and national news relating to the executive order. The site also has a section where members of the campus community can submit individual questions, with or without providing their names or contact information.

We also want to remind you about the services available to international members of our community. The Center for International Affairs has extensive resources for students, and can be contacted at The Office of Human Resources also has an office that assists international faculty and staff; its leader can be reached at

In addition to notifying you about these resources, we also wanted to address questions and issues raised in the petition we received during winter break regarding the university’s commitment to support and protect all members of the campus community, including those from underrepresented minority groups and/or other nations.

Case Western Reserve commits to:

  • welcome and support students without regard to their immigration status;
  • continue to admit students consistent with our non-discrimination policy;
  • maintain the privacy of student records (including documented or immigration status), releasing only such information when required by law;
  • value civility and the free exchange of ideas;
  • support diversity and inclusion as core values; and
  • enhance the international nature of our campus.

As part of fulfilling these commitments, the university provides such programs as the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center. We also have the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (OIDEO). Both of these offices provide extensive diversity awareness training programs—including, for OIDEO, sessions to help educate faculty search committees regarding bias that even unknowingly might affect assessments of candidates.

More recently, the Office of Student Affairs launched a Bias Reporting System for students to share their concerns regarding experiences they regard as discriminatory. This system exists to provide students support and educate the campus through regular aggregate reports regarding the types of issues students raise.

Ultimately, however, rules and enforcement are but a small part of improving campus climate. The primary tools of change are within all of you. Your individual conversations, facilitated dialogues, classroom discussions and so many other small and large interactions—those honest, mutually respectful moments are where we make the greatest, most lasting progress. Seize such opportunities. Try to listen as least as much as you talk. And remember that you are part of an institution wholly committed to making this campus an inviting place for all.


Barbara R. Snyder

W.A. “Bud” Baeslack
Provost and Executive Vice President

From the President and Provost, Jan. 29, 2017

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of Case Western Reserve:

Knowledge and understanding have no boundaries.

This principle is so fundamental to who we are as a university that our 2008 and 2013 strategic plans both cited “promotion of an inclusive culture of global citizenship” as essential to our mission.

Over the last decade, we have dramatically increased our international programs—including admissions recruitment, study abroad participation and academic collaborations around the world. All of these steps, and many others, have enhanced learning and discovery even more than we could have imagined.

The Executive Order President Trump signed Friday, then, is antithetical to our core values, in that it directly hinders our ability to fulfill our obligations to our students—and to society at large.

More immediately, the order has created enormous uncertainty for those from the predominantly Muslim nations the order affects. To all of you, we express our deepest regret for the fear and worry you are experiencing right now. Please know that we at Case Western Reserve will do all that we can to provide you information, assistance and support as you deal with this development and its impacts.

To that end, officials from international affairs, student affairs and human resources will host an informational meeting regarding the order and available resources at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Monday, Jan. 30) in Ford Auditorium. In addition, we are reaching out to faculty, staff and students from the countries cited in the order to let them know of our concern and commitment to provide help and guidance. Those with questions now can email (for students) or (for faculty and staff).

Meanwhile, we want to assure the entire campus that we are working closely with colleagues at other campuses as well as the Association of American Universities (AAU). The association’s president, Mary Sue Coleman, issued a statement on the order last night that we both endorse. You can read it on the AAU’s website.

The weekend’s legal and political developments demonstrate the fluid nature of this situation; we will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.


Barbara R. Snyder

W.A. “Bud” Baeslack
Provost and Executive Vice President

From the President and Provost, Jan. 28, 2017

To the Faculty, Staff and Students of Case Western Reserve University:

We write today regarding the Executive Order that President Trump signed Friday suspending entry into the U.S. of people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for the next 90 days. The order also bars from the U.S. refugees from any country for 120 days.

While media coverage of the effects of the order has been extensive, the precise implications of the order are not yet entirely clear. In this context, we recommend that individuals from the seven countries listed above refrain from international travel at this time. We are monitoring the situation closely and consulting extensively with our national organizations and colleagues from other campuses as developments unfold. We will continue to update our community as more details become available. 

In addition, the Center for International Affairs will hold an information session for faculty, staff and students early this week; we will provide the time, date and location as soon as they are determined.

Until then, students with questions regarding the Executive Order or related issues should email Faculty and staff with such inquiries should email


Barbara R. Snyder

W.A. “Bud” Baeslack
Provost and Executive Vice President

Other University Communications

Faculty Senate Resolution on Executive Order, Jan. 31, 2017

National News and Statements

Supreme Court Decision, June 26, 2017 (PDF)

Homeland Security Change on Carry-On Items at Select Int’l Airports, March 21, 2017

HI Judge’s Ruling, March 15, 2017 (PDF)

MD Judge’s Ruling, March 16, 2017 (PDF)

Presidential Executive Order, March 6, 2017

Federal Responses to Judge's Order, Feb. 4, 2017 (PDF)

WA Federal Judge's Order, Feb. 3, 2017 (PDF)

NY Federal Judge Order, Jan. 28, 2017 (PDF)
Similar rulings in at least four other states

White House Clarification of Jan. 27 Executive Order. Feb. 1, 2017 (PDF)

Presidential Executive Order, Jan. 27, 2017

Campus Resources

Center for International Affairs
Information for international students and for those considering study abroad.

University Health and Counseling Services
Confidential counseling and support for students who would like to discuss concerns of any nature, including those raised by potential immigration issues.

Immigration and Human Resource Services
Information for international faculty and staff regarding visas, appointments and other programs.

Employee Assistance Program
Confidential counseling and support for faculty and staff

Statements Across Higher Education

Many universities and organizations have issued statements; below is a sampling of them.

Statements by member institutions of the Association of American Universities

American Council on Education Letter on Behalf of 47 Higher Education Organizations, Jan. 31, 2017 (PDF)

Urgent Question?

or visit the Center for International Affairs Tomlinson, Room 143

Mark Murray, Director Immigration and HR 216.368.4289