Statement: President Pribbenow, Provost Kaivola on Executive Orders by President Donald J. Trump

(MINNEAPOLIS) — On Monday, January 30, Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow and Provost Karen Kaivola issued a statement to College students, faculty, and staff about recent executive orders issued by President Donald J. Trump related to immigration and to undocumented/DACA students. Below is the statement the President and Provost issued.

 

Dear Augsburg Community,

We are deeply troubled by the recent Presidential executive orders on immigration: they run counter to the values of this institution and of our nation. We do not accept the intolerance which the new immigration policies promote. Augsburg’s history is rich with the contribution of individuals who came to America; indeed, founded by Norwegian immigrants, Augsburg has an immigrant sensibility and will stand firm in the face of threats to our community and our immigrant neighbors.

We write today to affirm our commitment to provide a safe learning and working environment with equitable access to education for all members of our campus community. We will not back down on that commitment. We will use all the resources at our disposal to ensure that you complete your degrees, can come to and from work safely, and can thrive as valued members of our community.  Your well-being is our priority.

Augsburg is a community that cares deeply about our students, staff and faculty.  Many members of our campus community are impacted by these actions. We are focused intently on the educational and work experience of our students, staff, and faculty, their lives in the world and their promise. We have a long-standing commitment to hospitality and justice and we will resist changes that run against our values. We will not stand by and allow our values to be trodden upon. It’s a personal commitment we make and it is one shared by all of us at Augsburg. We live it out every day. We don’t step backward, we step forward, and we are proud of this community because of that.

These values are central to how we will respond in support of students who are affected by changes in undocumented and immigration status. We will double down on our commitments to hospitality and justice, to supporting our students’ success and to keeping them safe. We will advocate at the state and federal level for policies that support all of our students.

In light of this past weekend’s executive actions, we want to share the following information:

  • No Augsburg students currently studying abroad are impacted by the immigration/travel ban and all will be able to return safely to Augsburg and their homes.
  • We are working to bring local groups such as NAVIGATE MN and the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota to the Minneapolis campus to provide support for any members of the campus community who need assistance.
  • Based on the current executive orders, we strongly encourage all students, staff and faculty to seek legal advice if they have questions about their international travel plans.  For citizens of other countries, if you travel outside the U.S., you should expect increased visa delays and be aware of the risk that entry rules may change while you are traveling.
  • We have funding available for undocumented and DACA students who need assistance to explore pathways to citizenship. Please contact Jennifer Simon, Director of American Indian Student Services; Hli Vang, Director of Pan-Asian Student Services; or Ann Garvey, Vice President of Student Affairs, for further details.
  • We will ensure that all students at Augsburg are able to finish their degrees regardless of immigration status.
  • Augsburg currently has strict protocols around student data privacy, as mandated by FERPA (the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act). We are currently assessing offices on campus to ensure that immigration status data is not requested from students unless necessary, so as to minimize the data we store about students. Augsburg does not share student data with outside agencies unless required to do so by court order or subpoena.
  • We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure that we can respond quickly to any changes that impact our campus community.  We are requesting meetings with state and federal lawmakers and appointed officials and continuing to monitor court decisions. We will continue to use our leadership positions to advocate for policies that support all members of our campus community.
  • We expect each member of this community to be as flexible as possible with others who may need to address unexpected personal or family situations brought on by the current political environment.
  • If you are struggling, reach out to someone you trust.  It could be a faculty or staff member. Also Campus Ministry and the Counseling Center are confidential resources. As licensed ministers and counselors they are required to keep conversations private.
  • We are establishing a website with resources and information for the community, at http://engage.augsburg.edu/ccat. The site will be live on January 31.

We will continue to monitor the changing political landscape closely and communicate regularly with you about actions and resources. In the meantime, please remember that we are stronger together and that our support for each other is among our most compelling values.

Sincerely,

Paul C. Pribbenow, President
Karen Kaivola, Provost