Dear Sen. Roberts, Sen. Moran, Rep. Marshall, Rep. Watkins, Rep. Davids and Rep. Estes,

We oppose the Student and Exchange Visitor Program's student ban, and we ask that you — our representatives in Washington — push for its immediate cancellation. The decision not to "issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall" has no rational basis, serves no practical purpose, damages American universities, and is simply cruel.

1. The United States thrives when we welcome the world's greatest minds. Should international students learn that they are unwelcome here, they will go elsewhere, as some have done in the past few years. Unless rescinded immediately, this student ban could catastrophically damage the reputation of U.S. higher education for years to come.

2. International students subsidize domestic students. If they are expelled from higher education here, then U.S. colleges and universities — whose budgets have already been hit hard by COVID-19 — will incur greater losses. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, international students contributed $41 billion to the U.S. economy in 2019.

3. The student ban is cruel. Expelling students in the middle of a pandemic serves no useful purpose. It does not increase their safety or the safety of U.S. nationals. By forcing them to travel, it puts them at greater risk. It disrupts their education. It instills in these future leaders a permanent suspicion for the motives of our country.

Talented people from around the globe have helped make America great. Those born in other countries have long enriched our intellectual, social, and cultural lives. Physicist Albert Einstein (Germany), inventor Nikola Tesla (Croatia), architect I.M. Pei (China), cancer researcher Elizabeth Stern (Canada), novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), actor Natalie Portman (Israel), Google co-founder Sergey Brin (Russia), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (India), and Garmin co-founder Min Kao (Taiwan) are just a few of the countless who have lent their brilliance to this country. The student ban will prevent the bright young people studying here right now from doing the same.

In our private capacity as university distinguished professors at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas Medical Center, and distinguished professors at the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, we ask that you revoke the student ban.

Sincerely yours,

Christer B. Aakerӧy, Chemistry, K-State
Perry Alexander, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, KU
Beth Bailey, History, KU
William A. Barnett, Economics, KU
Thomas J. Barstow, Kinesiology, K-State
Alice Bean, Physics, KU
K. Christopher Beard, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU
Cory Berkland, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, KU
James D. Bever, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU
Raj Bhala, Law, KU
Monica Biernat, Psychology, KU
John Blair, Biology, K-State
Frank Blecha, Anatomy and Physiology, K-State
Mike Blum, Geology, KU
Stefan H. Bossmann, Chemistry, K-State
George R. Bousfield, Biological Sciences, WSU
Nyla Branscombe, Psychology, KU
Yolanda Broyles-González, American Ethnic Studies, K-State
James Calvet, Biochemistry, KUMC
Joyce Castle, School of Music, KU
M.M. Chengappa, Veterinary Medicine, K-State
C. Lewis Cocke, K-State, Physics
Bernard Cornet, Microeconomics, KU
David Darwin, Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering, KU
Elizabeth Dodd, English, K-State
Walter K. Dodds, Biology, K-State
James H. Edgar, Chemical Engineering, K-State
Michael S. Engel, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU
Charles Epp, Public Affairs, KU
David Farber, History, KU
Randall Fuller, English, KU
Keith Gido, Biology, K-State
Wayne Everett Goins, Music, K-State
Robert H. Goldstein, Geology, KU
Michael Hageman, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, KU
John W. Head, Law, KU
Anne D. Hedeman, Art History, KU
Andrew C. Isenberg, History, KU
Hartmut Jaeschke, Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics, KUMC
Ryszard Jankowiak, Chemistry, K-State
Michael R. Kanost, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, K-State
Neal Kingston, Educational Psychology, KU
M.B. Kirkham, Agronomy, K-State
Kimberly Kirkpatrick, Psychological Sciences, K-State
Phillip E. Klebba, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, K-State
John F. Leslie, Plant Pathology, K-State
Susan Lunte, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, KU
Joe Lutkenhaus, Microbiology, KUMC
Rolfe D. Mandel, Anthropology, KU
Richard Marston, Geography & Geospatial Sciences, K-State
Joane Nagel, Sociology, KU
T.G. Nagaraja, Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, K-State
Philip Nel, English, K-State
David Nualart, Mathematics, KU
Randolph J. Nudo, Rehabilitation Medicine, KUMC
Berl R. Oakley, Molecular and Cellular Biology, KU
Rosemary O'Leary, Public Affairs, KU
Dennis H. O'Rourke, Anthropology, KU
Anil Pahwa, Electrical and Computer Engineering, K-State
A. Townsend Peterson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, KU
William D. Picking, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, KU
David C. Poole, Kinesiology, Anatomy and Physiology, K-State
P.V. Vara Prasad, Agronomy, K-State
Harald E.L. Prins, Emeritus, Anthropology, K-State
Bharat Ratra, Physics, K-State
Charles W. Rice, Agronomy, K-State
Mabel L. Rice, Speech, Language, Hearing, KU
David Roediger, American Studies, KU
Robert Rohrschneider, Political Science, KU
Christophe Royon, Physics, KU
Paul Selden, Emeritus, Geology, KU
Prakash P. Shenoy, Business, KU
James E. Sherow, Emeritus, History, K-State
Mark B. Shiflett, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, KU
Tom Skrtic, Special Education, KU
C. Michael Smith, Emeritus, Entomology, K-State
Michael J. Soares, Pathology, KUMC
Jorge L. Soberón, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, KU
Yan Soibelman, Mathematics, K-State
Christopher Sorensen, Physics, K-State
Brian Spooner, Biology, K-State
Sandra M. Stith, Applied Human Sciences, K-State
Karan S. Surana, Mechanical Engineering, KU
Uwe Thumm, Physics, K-State
Mike Tokach, Animal Sciences and Industry, K-State
Barbara Valent, Plant Pathology, K-State
David B. Volkin, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, KU
J. Douglas Walker, Geology, KU
Steven F. Warren, Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences and Disorders, KU
Robert Warrior, American Literature and Culture, KU
Laurence Weatherley, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, KU
Michael L. Wehmeyer, Special Education, KU
Ruth Welti, Biology, K-State
Kun Yan Zhu, Entomology, K-State
Dean Zollman, Emeritus, Physics, K-State

Original News Release

The Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI) at the University of Kansas exists to improve the performance of students, adults and public agencies throughout local, state and national communities.

The Institute includes six centers, which represent a diversity of services and programs:

AAI and its centers partner with numerous agencies to improve the lives of children and adults through academics, employment, career advancement and building healthy environments, as well as to enhance the capacity of organizations that help children, adults and communities succeed.

AAI was established in 2012 through the merger of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, established in 1983, and the Institute for Educational Research and Public Services, established in 1997. Both organizations have long track records of successfully building partnerships and programs that support the achievement of young children, school-aged children, adults and publicly funded agencies.

Effective July 1, 2013, AAI was recognized by KU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies as one of just 12 designated university research centers and institutes.

As part of its mission, AAI also provides KU faculty support and encouragement related to research in improving the performance and enhancing the achievements of students, adults and public-sector agencies. The Institute and its four centers also provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to obtain valuable research and on-the-job employment experience while at KU.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today