Students at private nonprofits deserve free tuition too

New York Governor Cuomo recently announced that New York State would cover tuition costs at state and city universities for students whose families earn under a certain dollar amount.

The governor’s plan is laudable, but does not go far enough. As I wrote in an op-ed for the The New York Daily News, this initiative should also extend to students at private nonprofits. Schools like Pace University have a proven track record of elevating graduates’ earning power, irrespective of their socioeconomic status.

You can read the complete op-ed at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/private-colleges-state-article-1.2961751.

 

Executive Order on Immigration

President Trump’s recent executive order banning all people traveling on passports from seven specified countries from entering the United States has spread uncertainty across America and revulsion in large parts of this country. Emotions are running high, and college campuses, with large numbers of international students far away from home, are particularly vulnerable to the stress. Many people are deeply concerned about the content and breadth of the order and have serious questions about whether it is consistent with the Constitution. As a university, we are equally concerned about the students, faculty, and staff who may be affected by this executive order. Their safety and well-being remain our highest priority. We support them and will do everything we can to maintain an environment that welcomes them to study, work, and enjoy the benefits of an education at Pace University.

While the many issues raised by President Trump’s executive order are considered by the courts, our goal is to ensure all students, faculty, and staff thrive at Pace without interruption. We are fortunate to have a very diverse community and we value and embrace that diversity. Our different perspectives enhance our understanding, provide deeper context for learning, and enrich the personal relationships that are such an important part of university life.

I want to emphasize my own view that this order appears to have been the product of a small group of White House advisers who did not have the benefit of the usual inter-agency vetting process that has traditionally preceded a change of Administration policy of this magnitude. Much remains unclear. That vetting process is designed to surface secondary and tertiary effects of the policy change and any unintended consequences. Accordingly, it may well be that there will be numerous changes in the order in the coming weeks, and it is not possible to predict whether the result will be a much more limited or an expanded ban on entry.

Accordingly, until the rules are clearer, we strongly advise any member of the Pace Community who is not a U.S. citizen to regularly check our International Students & Scholars webpage at www.pace.edu/immigration-updates for the most up-to-date information.

Our International Students & Scholars Office is also ready to advise and assist students or scholars on a non-immigrant visa who need help. You can reach out to Barry Stinson at (212) 346-1692, or via e-mail at bstinson@pace.edu for assistance.

In addition, the Immigration Justice Clinic at Pace’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law is going to offer information sessions that explore the implications and issues surrounding President Trump’s executive order. You can contact Professor Vanessa Merton at (914) 422-4330, or via e-mail at vmerton@law.pace.edu, for more information about these sessions. For certain students, the Immigration Justice Clinic may be able to provide legal representation for those who need it. We will also make available a list of other legal services for those who desire private legal counsel. Faculty and staff who have concerns should contact Elizabeth Garti, Pace’s Associate Vice President of Human Resources. You can reach her at (914) 923-2781 or egarti@pace.edu. Finally, the Pace University Counseling Center is available to speak with anyone who is feeling unsettled because of this event. To reach the Counseling Center in New York City, you can call (212) 346-1526. In Westchester, the phone number is (914) 773-3710.

Please be assured that Pace University will not voluntarily provide access to anyone’s personal information, visa, or immigration status without a subpoena, court order, or to comply with other legal requirements.

We will remain in constant communication with Pace’s immigration counsel and continue to update you as information becomes available. In the meantime, please remember that for over a century, through changes in governments and evolving perspectives on national and international issues, Pace’s approach to education has never wavered. We provide all our students with opportunities to expand their minds and achieve their dreams and we stand firmly behind our students, faculty, and staff.

Access to higher education for all

I recently joined university presidents and chancellors across the United States by adding my name and the support of Pace University to a letter (https://www.pomona.edu/support-daca) that urges President-elect Trump to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – the DACA program.

The DACA program allows undocumented students who entered the US illegally as infants or children to continue their education at universities in the US without fear of deportation. President Obama created the program by executive action in 2012. President-elect Trump has said he would end the program.

As leaders and educators it is critical that all of us support the ideal that everyone should have access to higher education and the chance to expand their minds and opportunities. Higher education opens students’ eyes to new worlds; it provides avenues to work hard and achieve meaningful goals, and to pursue careers that enhance their lives and advance society.

Under DACA, more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the US illegally as children have registered with the federal government in exchange for temporary relief from the possibility of deportation and a two-year renewable work permit. These young men and women have taken advantage of a program offered by the United States government. The letter I signed said DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity. America needs talent – and many of these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, represent what is best about America.

NYC Chancellor Carmen Fariña visits Pace University’s Inside Track

If you’re curious about the education issues shaping New York City’s future leaders and professionals, you won’t want to miss our upcoming InsideTrack with New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Our program begins 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, in the Schimmel Center at 3 Spruce Street.

As the Chancellor of New York City Schools, Chancellor Fariña oversees the education of more than one million students, so her priorities and decisions related to key issues such as charter schools, Common Core, class size, teacher evaluations, and technology will impact the City for years to come.

We’ll talk about these topics and more with the Chancellor. Her 40 years of experience as a teacher, principal, district superintendent, region superintendent, Deputy Chancellor, and—since 2014—Chancellor gives her a well-rounded perspective as she works to provide New York City children with a quality education.

Whether you are a teacher, student, parent, or community leader, or you see yourself in one of these roles in the future, please join us for a discussion of issues that will reverberate far and wide into the future.