Oglethorpe’s Commitment to International Students

Update: An announcement came late afternoon July 14, that this federal policy has been rescinded. 

July 13, 2020

Dear Oglethorpe Community,

On July 6th, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency issued a directive that could endanger the safety and educational future of many international students attending U.S. universities. In essence, international students sponsored on a student visa will not be allowed to remain in the U.S. if they are enrolled only in remote/online coursework. This directive, which largely ignores the complex social, political, and economic challenges faced by international scholars, has the potential to negatively affect students in our Oglethorpe community and across the country.

In response, Oglethorpe University has joined with other members of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the American Council on Education to urge Congress to intervene and call on the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw the directive issued by ICE. Importantly, Oglethorpe is committed to advocating in support of our international student community, and to ensuring their safe and lawful presence in the United States.

For the Fall 2020 semester, most of Oglethorpe’s courses are hybrid, meaning offering both in-person and remote class options. Michelle Hall, Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students, Dr. Marisa Atencio, Assistant Dean and Director of Global Education, and Whitney Lewis, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, are actively working with Oglethorpe’s international students individually to ensure their enrollment in courses that meet the in-person study requirements.

Last Friday, we conducted two community forums where students were able to discuss implications of the ICE decision and communicate their concerns and suggestions. Several members of Oglethorpe’s faculty and staff joined the virtual meeting to share, listen, and convey immediate and potential actions we are taking. Our community participation in these forums is invaluable, and results in better decisions. We are committed to continuing to listen and learn about how we can support our international student community, and follow up with specific action steps.


Nicholas Ladany, Ph.D.
President, Oglethorpe University