Dean Frances Leslie: Impact of Presidential Executive Order on Graduate Recruitment

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Graduate Division
120 Aldrich Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3180
Phone: (949) 824-6763Dean Frances Leslie: Impact of Presidential Executive Order on Graduate Recruitment
Fax: (949) 824-9096

February 7, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I have received many inquiries from both students and faculty about the impact of Presidential Executive order 13769 on foreign nationals from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. I am therefore writing to clarify the current status of applicants and enrolled students from these countries.

We currently have almost 400 graduate applicants from affected countries, and have received messages of concern from some of the many thousand international applicants from other countries. Recent guidance on admissions has been provided by Charles Robinson, UC General Counsel and Vice President – Legal Affairs. In a legal advisory dated February 4, 2017, he states ”federal and state law and University policy continue to prohibit making admissions and other academic decisions based on a candidate’s national origin. Specifically, the University’s nondiscrimination obligation extends to applicants from the countries whose nationals are affected by E.O. 13769 and applies regardless of their citizenship status with respect to the United States.”

In light of this, my recommendation is that faculty continue to review all applicant files, and make admissions decisions, as usual. However, please be aware that the expected yield of international students, both those from the seven affected countries and beyond, may be lower than usual. These yield projections should be taken into consideration, and compensated for, when determining admissions rates. Given UCI’s strategic goals to increase doctoral enrollment and launch new professional master’s programs, it is critical that we do not fall short of enrollment targets.

Guidance on currently enrolled students was issued by President Napolitano and Chancellor Gillman on January 28th ( In part, it states “we recommend that UC community members from these seven countries who hold a visa to enter the United States or who are lawful permanent residents do not travel outside of the United States.” The International Center has contacted the 113 current graduate students from affected countries to give this advice and to offer them resources. The International Center has relevant FAQs on this web page: They have also noted that the United States Citizenship and Immigration services “will continue to process applications and petitions filed in the U.S. regardless of their country of origin. The International Center also continues to process all requests for I-20s and DS-2019s, including extension, OPT, and CPT.”

Clearly, given the Court petitions and rapidly changing landscape for immigrants, it will be important to continue to check this site for continued updates. Although current advice is for students from impacted countries to remain in the US for the immediate future, this may negatively impact degree completion for some students, particularly if they plan to do international research as part of their thesis or dissertation. Please let all impacted graduate students or postdoctoral fellows know that Graduate Division Counselor, Phong Luong, is available to assist them( His office is located in Aldrich Hall, room 120, and appointments can be made by calling (949) 824-0246Dean Frances Leslie: Impact of Presidential Executive Order on Graduate Recruitment or emailing him at

During these difficult times, it is important that we do all that we can to support our campus community. Further suggestions on how to help students facing immigration crises has been offered by UCI faculty in a recent article in Inside Higher Ed (https ://www

Best regards,

Frances Leslie
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division