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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Making Research Work: Supporting our international students and researchers

UPDATED JUNE 22, 2020:

On Monday, June 22, the president signed an executive order titled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.” The order goes into effect on June 24 and will limit H-1B visas, H-2B visas, H-4 visas, L-1 visas, and certain J-1 visas until at least December 30. The order does not affect visas that have already been issued. As I stated in my June 8 blog, such restrictions are detrimental to making new discoveries, supporting innovations, and expanding economic growth. We will continue to oppose such policies and support our international students, faculty, and researchers.
Statement from the Chancellor Rebecca Blank in support of non-immigration visas.


UW–Madison has an amazing community of international students, visiting scholars, and faculty who now call Wisconsin their home. The university benefits from the scientific and cultural contributions of these students and scholars.

The overarching goal of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE) is to address the complex challenges of the university’s broad research enterprise and support the needs of graduate education across campus. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways in which their identities, cultures, backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and opinions enrich our community.

The recent proclamation by the U.S. President to restrict entry into the United States for certain Chinese students and researchers, as well as proposed federal legislation that would prohibit Chinese nationals from receiving visas to the U.S. for graduate or postgraduate studies in STEM fields, run counter to our core values. These new policies and proposals target a segment of our community and seek to limit the ability of Chinese students and researchers to study and work collaboratively at our institution. The OVCRGE is concerned about the negative impact such policies have on individual scholars and the quality of research at UW­–Madison. We take national security and the protection of intellectual property seriously, but such restrictions are detrimental to making new discoveries, supporting innovations, and expanding economic growth.

UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank has been working with our federal partners and has written to legislators, to express these concerns and to ask for consideration of the impact of these policies on U.S. leadership in science and technology.

The Wisconsin Idea embodies the principle that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. These boundaries extend to places around the globe. The potential impact of President’s proclamation will depend on when additional information from the Departments of State and Homeland Security becomes available. Our office opposes restrictions on important scholarship and collaborations because it diminishes the quality and breadth of our academic community and its contributions to Wisconsin and throughout the world. We will continue to work to ensure that educational opportunities are available for all who contribute to the intellectual vibrancy and diversity of our campus, regardless of nationality.

Steve Ackerman

UW–Madison Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education