April 19, 2013
To the Campus Community:
On behalf of California State University, Northridge, I am pleased to join with higher education leaders from across the country who have chosen today, April 19, as an opportunity to collectively draw campus and public attention to the need for immigration reform.
As you may know, great attention has been placed on the need to find a just and sustainable solution to the challenge of the nation's immigration policies and laws, an issue that gained momentum and became a higher priority after last November's presidential election. Within the higher education community, we know that the nation's inability to come to agreement on this matter has resulted in the loss of talented students who have shown promise in pursuit of their higher education goals and who could contribute significantly to the economy and well-being of their communities. For those who are able to pursue their higher education dreams, many face significant struggles and barriers in completing their education. These are high performing students, including honors students, student government leaders, and active contributors to the life of the campus community. While passage of the California Dream Act will help, we need national solutions at the Federal level that address multiple immigration barriers.
We also have issues in our visa policies related to international students and faculty that result in challenges and our educating such individuals who are then not able to remain in the U.S. and contribute their skills and talents to rebuilding our economy or contributing to our urgently needed STEM fields.
These are, of course, issues that touch California State University, Northridge directly. Many of us know first hand and have seen in the media numerous students from within the CSU system who have courageously come forward to share their story. These individuals have put a human face on the difficulties faced by otherwise bright and dedicated individuals who are unable to achieve the promise of a university education and move into fulfilling careers upon graduation.
With this in mind, I want to express my strong support for continued campus conversation that seeks to promote a better understanding of the complex political, social and economic issues that surround immigration reform and, specifically, how such reform may impact California State University, Northridge's ability to better serve our immigrant and undocumented students on the campus.
California State University, Northridge has a long and proud historical commitment to diversity and access, and to providing opportunity and model pathways for student success. Given our position as one of the most diverse campuses in the nation and our ability as a higher education institution to make a significant contribution to scholarship and dialogue related to this important topic, I hope everyone in the campus community will participate in supporting reasonable and humane solutions to immigration reform.
Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.
California State University, Northridge