Immigration Executive Order

Official Statement from UD President Thomas W. Keefe on Immigration Executive Order

 Date Published: Feb. 3, 2017

PK StatementJust over one year ago the University of Dallas joined in a celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, a declaration on the relations of the church with non-Christian religions by the Second Vatican Council. Nostra Aetate calls for all Christians to strive for a mutual understanding to “promote together for the benefit of mankind, social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.” As the president of a Catholic university “for independent thinkers” and in light of recent events in our country, I feel it is important today for me to reflect on the guidance of the church and also to assure all University of Dallas students, faculty and staff of my commitment to their individual welfare regardless of their nation of origin or religion.

I am informed and advised in my statement today by our Catholic faith and the leaders of the church. Most recently Pope Francis reminded us that “the equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.”

My purpose today is not to advance a political agenda, but to acknowledge the recent executive order has an impact on our community. I write to assure members of the university community that as an administration and as the president of the University of Dallas, we will continue to pursue policies and practices that recognize our responsibilities as a Christian community. We will listen to and be directed by the gospel of Jesus Christ with the faith that flows directly from those gospels. At the University of Dallas, we consider diversity both an asset and a blessing to our community. We strongly believe that respecting an individual’s path to the Lord is an important aspect of the humility of our faith that we are called to practice.

My highest priority remains the welfare and safety of all of our students and faculty as I continue to monitor the situation for direct impact to those on our campus. If you are a student or a member of our faculty or staff, and find yourself in need of help or assistance in this matter, do not hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am sincere in my commitment to all students, faculty, staff and their families to lessen the impact of the policies as much as we can, acting in accordance of the law and our Catholic faith.

To quote Robert Kennedy speaking in Cape Town in 1966, “like it or not we live in interesting times.” At the University of Dallas we are up to the task. I am confident in the courage of our community to maintain our Catholic values and to respect the individual dignity of all members of our university community.

PK Signature

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