To: OSU faculty, staff and students

From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President

July 14, 2020

Dear faculty, staff and students,

I am very pleased to share that today the U.S. government rescinded proposed restrictions issued last week on international students taking online college courses while in the United States.

The new policy would have been effective for fall term, requiring international students to take at least one in-person class, even amid the pandemic. The policy threatened the education and wellness of OSU international students and hundreds of thousands of more students across the nation. Certainly, that was of great concern to all of us at OSU and caused needless stress for our nearly 3,400 international students.

This important, nationwide resolution was reached in a court case brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On Monday, OSU and 19 other west coast universities jointly filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in Eugene.

This resolution reinstates for now federal provisions adopted last spring that allow international students to take courses online while in the U.S. or abroad while retaining their immigration status. The willingness of the federal government to return to its March policy is heartening considering the serious harm the proposed restrictions would have had on students and many universities and colleges.

Oregon State University’s decision to support the needs of its international students by opposing the unfair federal restrictions in court was consistent with the mission of the university and the global economy and culture within the state of Oregon. We strongly believe that through the education of students from throughout Oregon, the nation and the world – and research, teaching and public engagement with international faculty, universities and communities – OSU advances its transformative impact as an internationally recognized 21st century university.

We will never waver in our support for our international students, faculty, staff and scholars.


Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President