President's Blog: Statement Regarding the War in Ukraine

Feb. 28, 2022

Like so many others in the Princeton community and throughout the world, I am deeply distressed by the unjust invasion of Ukraine for many reasons:  because of the horrible suffering that it has unforgivably inflicted; because of its blatant, wrongful violation of Ukrainian sovereignty; and because of the damage it has done to international principles fundamental to peace and human rights throughout the world.

My heart goes out to those, on our campus and beyond it, who are personally affected by the war.  The University has reached out to students and staff from Ukraine.  Resources and support services are available from the Davis International Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Office of Religious Life.

The University homepage features prominently the response from our community, including a discussion at the School of Public and International Affairs that was among the first scholarly panels on the conflict.  It drew attention from policymakers as well as from people throughout our community.

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, of which I am a founding member, has called on the Biden Administration to designate Ukraine for Temporary Status Protection (TPS) and announce Special Student Relief for Ukrainian nationals residing or studying in the United States.

I strongly support this call.  The TPS program exemplifies the humanitarian ideals of this country, providing relief for individuals in the United States who are unable to return safely to countries struggling with armed conflict, environmental disaster, an epidemic, or other extraordinary conditions.  Special Student Relief suspends certain regulatory requirements for students from areas of the world experiencing emergent circumstances, such as war and military conflict, making it easier for them to remain safely in the United States.  These measures are clearly warranted for the situation in Ukraine.

Update: I am pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has designated Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status for the next 18 months.  I am grateful for this step and hope the Administration will consider additional flexibility for Ukrainian students and scholars currently in the United States.