Dean's Corner: Executive Order Travel Ban

The following is the text of a letter sent by Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley to the HMS community in response to an executive order travel ban signed on Jan. 27. 

Along with so many of you, I am deeply troubled by the executive order restricting immigration to the U.S. from specific countries.

While we all seek a more secure world, this is sowing turmoil and uncertainty in our academic and scientific community. The situation is rapidly evolving, and I want to assure you that we are actively monitoring the situation and working in tandem with the University to assess its impact on members of our community.

At Harvard Medical School, we are a magnet and a beacon for scholars, physicians and scientists from across the globe whose lives are dedicated to advancing knowledge and improving the lives of people everywhere. Our core values emphasize respect for others and the free exchange of ideas. Collaboration among scholars from throughout the world contributes greatly to positive change in medicine, science, society and humanity. 

As a physician, teacher, and scientist, I am deeply conscious of how international scholars and the diversity of my lab family and our community have enriched us both scientifically and personally. Our interactions with colleagues of varied backgrounds and cultural heritage have been essential to our scientific progress.

The impact of this executive order on faculty, students, and staff has the potential to resonate far into the future, and to alter how we work with colleagues around the globe and how we care for international patients.

Please be aware that the University is in close contact with government officials and others. Harvard’s Global Support Services is offering guidance and contact information for those who need assistance, and the Harvard International Office is in contact with international scholars and students. 

Please let me know of any specific concerns you have about the impact of the executive order. Harvard Medical School is eager to be a resource for this community in the days and months to come.