President Schatzel’s Message on Recent Immigration Guidance

January 29, 2017

"Towson University will follow University System of Maryland guidance to understand the implications of these Executive Orders. We will continue to support all members of our community to the greatest extent possible within the law." 

Dear Towson University Community: 

Each year Towson University welcomes hundreds of international students and faculty scholars from more than 80 countries. These members of our diverse and inclusive community play an important role in our mission to advance scholarship for the public good and enhance both the discovery and delivery of the highest quality education.

While Towson University fully complies with all federal requirements and laws, the university remains committed to fostering an environment where all our students - regardless of their immigration status, race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and levels of ableness - can thrive, flourish, and realize their fullest potential.  

A series of recent executive orders from the Trump Administration is drawing concern from colleges and universities across the nation regarding their impact on members of our academic communities.  

As a University System of Maryland institution, we are monitoring any changes to immigration laws, policies, and practices that impact the safety and status of our students, faculty and staff.  

Towson University will follow University System of Maryland guidance to understand the implications of these Executive Orders. We will continue to support all members of our community to the greatest extent possible within the law.

According to the recent USM guidance, President Trump’s January 25, 2017 Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States regarding sanctuary cities and jurisdictions does not change existing Federal immigration laws.  Towson University will continue to comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, including FERPA, which protects student information from disclosure, absent a court order or subpoena. 

As previously stated in my December 8, 2016 communication to campus and in accordance with USM guidance, we are committed to the following: 

  1. Towson University will not permit immigration enforcement authorities to enter campus for an enforcement action without a warrant unless there is an exigent circumstance (e.g., risk of death) necessitating immediate action;
  2. Towson University will not voluntarily partner with immigration authorities to assist with enforcement activities;
  3. Towson University will not detain an immigrant at the request of immigration enforcement authorities; 
  4. TUPD does not ask about nor record immigration status while serving and protecting the campus community;
  5.  Pursuant to FERPA, Towson University will not provide immigration enforcement authorities with student records without a lawfully issued subpoena or court order. 

A separate executive order from the Trump Administration, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, temporarily bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. We are determining whether any TU students and employees have been directly affected by this ban. 

The Association of Public Land Grant Universities has also issued a statement  regarding the widespread and long term impact of this order. I fully concur and support the statement by the APLU and President McPherson and encourage everyone to review it.  

Our TU leadership team, as well as USM leadership and administration, will continue to closely monitor the implementation of these executive orders.  We will communicate with you as appropriate to provide the best support possible to all members of our community. 

As a community, we remain devoted to a diverse and inclusive campus where all members can thrive. I am confident we will continue to work together and support each other to advance this unwavering institutional commitment.

Kim Schatzel

President