President’s Posts

Michael Rao, Ph.D.


July 8, 2020

Dear VCU community,

As we move into a new educational experience together, we are deeply troubled by this week’s announcement of new federal regulations restricting international students from pursuing their degrees online this fall while they are in the United States. In a nation fighting Covid-19, it is ill-timed. In a nation focused on progress and prosperity, it is deleterious. And in a nation desperate for equality and inclusion, it is senselessly exclusionary.

VCU proudly enrolls nearly 1,200 international students from 120 nations. We will continue supporting in every way these students and their astounding academic, creative, and research pursuits, and we will help them complete their degrees on time so they can make the human experience better around the world. They make us a stronger university with a global reputation and global focus, and we are grateful they are part of our community.

In recent days, we have reached out to our international students to reassure them of these commitments and help them continue their education. I applaud the strong and focused leadership of Executive Director Jill Blondin and her colleagues in VCU’s Global Education Office for the work they have done, and will continue to do, as we move forward together as One VCU. I am proud to see our peer universities in Virginia and across the United States taking similar stands.

As a global community, we need collaboration and cohesion now more than ever. All of us at VCU share the commitment to ensuring that all of our students, regardless of their background, can thrive here in ways that are meaningful to them and to the human experience they will soon lead.


Michael Rao, Ph.D.
VCU and VCU Health System

Categories 21st-Century University, Diversity, Periodic update, To VCU
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