The following is a letter sent by Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, to the Institute Board of Trustees, Faculty and Emeriti, current Members and Visitors, and Staff, on January 30, 2017.
To the Institute community,
I write to you with great concern regarding the federal executive order, which, on Friday, established travel restrictions for refugees and those coming to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
From our founding, the Institute has welcomed academics from around the world, irrespective of race, gender, and creed, with the simple requirement that they be dedicated to advancing scholarship. Bringing leading scholars from all of the world's countries and regions and supporting their unfettered academic research, wherever it may take them, are among our core values. This was true in the 1930s when Faculty like Einstein, Weyl, and von Neumann came from Europe to the Institute, and it is true today as we welcome Faculty and Members from more than thirty countries.
As an institution, we take seriously the potential of the new federal executive order to interfere with our scholars’ ability to pursue their academic work. Since the order was issued, IAS staff have been working actively with affected scholars, and we will continue to provide support, guidance, and information as matters develop.
Should you or any of your colleagues have questions or concerns or need assistance at this time, please contact Michael Klompus, Chief Human Resources Officer, or Jennifer Hansen, Visa and Visitor Services Coordinator. Michael or Jennifer will provide whatever support members of our community need and will guarantee privacy.
True to its mission and history, the Institute will always be a strong advocate for the unobstructed flow of scholars across the world. In the meantime, we are committed to doing everything we can within the limits of the law to protect and support those who are affected by this executive order. We will provide updates and information as the situation evolves and the implications of the executive order are more clearly known. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out should you wish to be in touch.
Director and Leon Levy Professor