Latest news from the UO

  • UO-led study helps guide physical therapy after injuries

    First published in Around the O on August 21st. Racing into rehab too aggressively after a severe ankle sprain or bone fracture may hinder the ability of blood vessels to regrow and form a healthy network of blood vessels in the affected tissue. That’s the main message from new research that used 3D models made of a water-rich collagen gel cultured with fragments of blood vessels taken from fat. The work, done in a collaboration of scientists from the University of Oregon’s Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, Georgia Tech and three other institutions, is detailed in Science Advances. The work by the nine-member research team revealed fundamental new insights about the effects of mechanically loading tissues trying to reestablish vascularization following injury, said study co-author Robert Guldberg, vice president and Robert and Leona DeArmond Executive Director of the Knight Campus. RELATED LINKS Paper in Science Advances Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact About Robert Guldberg Guldberg Lab About Keat Ghee Ong’s startup Knight Campus leader named to national inventors academy Finding that sweet spot of timing and intensity of rehabilitation, he said, is challenging. “If you get the loading right, you stimulate increased growth,” Guldberg said. “If you get it wrong, however, you can completely inhibit the vessels from branching and growing. Our research has reached a point where we can begin to make suggestions. Our message to physical therapists and clinicians is to not be overly aggressive early on.” Mechanical loading refers to physical stress, such as exercise or physical therapy. The regrowth of a vascular network is key to successful tissue regeneration following injuries or surgical procedures like spine fusion. Blood vessels deliver oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products from tissue. If the process is cut short, fibrosis can set in, resulting in scarring, chronic pain and an incomplete return to full strength. The 3D models, which used fat from rats cultured into a hydrogel, allowed testing of mechanical loading effects on vascular growth, a multistaged process called angiogenesis, in a controlled setting. The models were fitted into two differently sized platens, or framing structures, to study the impacts of compression and shear at different times and intensities. By introducing molecular inhibitors to cell-signaling pathways, the team identified specific biological mechanisms regulating the effects of early or late loading times at low, medium and high levels of deformation applied to vascular networks forming in the gels. The resulting data, the researchers wrote, demonstrated that delayed loading led to longer, more extensively branched microvascular networks than early loading over a wide range of strain magnitudes. High deformations applied early stopped vascular branching and growth. Exactly how the optimal timing seen in the study translates into actual human treatments will require additional study. Next up, Guldberg said, is experimenting with models drawn from human tissue “to build a vascular avatar of the patient to model how repairs progress.” Another team, which includes Guldberg, detailed the creation of modular microcages that could be used as size-adjustable implantable scaffolds for tissue engineering, especially in cases of large tissue defects or injuries. That work appeared online July 23 in Advanced Materials. Eventually, Guldberg said, strategies could emerge from this ongoing research to help guide individualized treatment plans for patients whose recovery programs may vary widely based on their injuries. There may be ways, he added, to develop therapeutic drug treatments in combination with time-varying exercise plans to accelerate tissue regeneration and patient recovery. “Our work is really about guiding physical therapists and clinicians to be able to optimize their treatments of patients after serious injuries to accelerate a patient’s return to being functional and improve their long-term ability to regenerate their vascular tissue health,” Guldberg said. The research also may help guide rehabilitative strategies, such as walking, running, jumping rope or lifting weights, following spine fusion, tendon and bone-repair surgeries where vascular networking needs to be rebuilt, he added. “A continuing challenge, however, is measuring real-time mechanical data in patients,” he said. Guldberg is addressing how to do just that in a partnership with fellow Knight Campus scientist Keat Ghee Ong, who joined the UO last summer. With help from UO’s Innovation Partnership Services, they have launched the Eugene-based Penderia Technologies Inc. The company is developing orthopedic sensors based on Ghee Ong’s research in radio frequency identification technology. Using tiny devices implanted in suture anchors, screws or buttons used for surgical repairs, doctors or therapists could monitor an individual’s progress and chart a specific recovery exercise plan. The National Institutes of Health (grant AR069297) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (RX001985) supported the research. Five co-authors, including lead authors Marissa Ruehle and E.A. Eastburn, of the Science Advances study are at Georgia Tech, where Guldberg had worked before joining the UO’s Knight Campus in August 2018. Other contributors are at the Atlanta VA Center in Decatur, Georgia, University of Utah and University of Pennsylvania. —By Jim Barlow, University Communications

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  • LCC, UO receive state grants to support veteran students

    First published in the Register Guard on August 19th. University of Oregon and Lane Community College are among 14 public colleges that received thousands of dollars in grants from the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs this week.  The grants are designed to expand Campus Veteran Resource Centers and other services for student veterans to help them successfully transition from military service to college, and again into the civilian workforce and community, according to a release from the department.  Colleges received a combined total of $900,000 in grants, ranging from $25,830 to $79,830.  LCC received $78,615, the largest grant out of the two Eugene-area colleges and the second-most of any of the recipients across the state. UO received $31,581 for its services. All 14 colleges that applied were granted money.  Some of the projects to be funded with the grants include establishment of peer mentor programs to increase retention of veteran students, partnerships with community organizations to help transition to the workforce, and training for faculty and staff in military culture and unique needs of student veterans.  Link: https://www.registerguard.com/story/news/2020/08/19/lcc-uo-receive-state-grants-support-veteran-students/3396210001/

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  • Study shows what’s below ‘recent’ Cascade eruptions

    First published in Around the O on August 14th. Volcanic eruptions in the Cascade Range have occurred more often than commonly thought over the last 2.6 million years, and they’ve left subsurface signatures that tie them to current magmatic activity, University of Oregon researchers report. In a study in the journal Geology, a team led by UO doctoral student Dan O’Hara catalogued almost 3,000 volcanoes associated with the Cascades. The paper merged information on surface volcanic vents and data on the structure and composition of the crust to a depth of 12 miles. Clear connections between surface and subsurface signs of past eruptions were identified. The National Science Foundation-supported project shed fresh light about the complex and time-evolving patterns of rising magma in the region, said study co-author Leif Karlstrom, a professor in the UO Department of Earth Sciences and Oregon Center for Volcanology. That activity, he said, stretches far beyond the 11 well-known major volcanoes lining the Cascade Arc. “Anyone who has ever flown between San Francisco and Seattle has probably marveled at the massive stratovolcanoes lined up between Northern California and southern British Columbia,” Karlstrom said. “Remarkably, these landforms represent less than 1 percent of the volcanoes in the Cascades that have erupted in the geologically recent past.” The research team used freely available satellite-derived 3D digital terrain models to update estimates of eruption rates and synthesize subsurface observations over recent decades. The team mapped where signs of active magma in the crust correlates with edifices on the surface. Edifices refer to the main portion of volcanoes built by erupted lava, rock projectiles, mud and debris flows, and mixture of rock fragments, gas and ash. The modeling associated these edifices with underlying seismic velocities, heat flow, gravity and deformation that are sensitive to the influence of magma. It showed where surface vents seem to overlie currently active magma transport structures in the crust. “Previous studies have analyzed single volcanoes or volcanic clusters with satellite data, but this is the first study to constrain volcano geometries over an entire arc in a self-consistent manner,” O’Hara said. “We estimate that volcanic edifices represent about 50 percent of total volcanic output during the time period we examined.” The findings of the new study will help guide more in-depth studies of distributed volcanic vents and assessements of hazards and risks to people and infrastructure, said co-author David W. Ramsey of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington. Distributed volcanic vents are associated with small cinder cones that cover much of the central Oregon Cascades and areas such as the Boring Lava Field in Portland and the Medicine Lake volcano in California. “This research used a consistent methodology to analyze volcanic vents spanning the entire U.S. Cascade Range,” Ramsay said. “It helps to highlight recently active volcanic vents, particularly in Central Oregon and Northern California, and shows that the locations of potential future eruptions are not limited to the snow-capped stratovolcanoes on the horizon.” The region’s major stratovolcanoes, which stretch along the junction of the Juan de Fuca and North American plates, are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters, Crater Lake/Mount Mazama, Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak. O’Hara, who grew up in a small Pennsylvania town near the Allegheny Mountains, came to the UO to study earthquakes, but an invitation from Karlstrom redirected his focus. He holds bachelor’s degrees in geology and computer science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. —By Jim Barlow, University Communications

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  • UO and OSU to work together on glacier melting research

    First published in Around the O on August 24th.  Efforts to study how glaciers melt where they meet seawater, using an approach pioneered by University of Oregon oceanographer Dave Sutherland and colleagues at Oregon State University, have been bolstered with a $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Advancing the research, to be done at Alaska’s LeConte Glacier near Petersburg, about 110 miles southeast of Juneau, could deliver scientists a refined method to improve projections of glacier loss worldwide amid anticipated sea-level rise in a warming climate. "We will explore the physics of the ice-ocean interface, that small boundary layer right where the fjord and glacier front meet,” said Sutherland, an associate professor in the UO’s Department of Earth Sciences. “You can imagine that’s a hard place to get data from, as icebergs crash down and ocean currents are swirling around." Wyden, Merkley Welcome $2.2 Million in Glacier Study Grants for OSU, UO The four-year grant begins Oct. 1. It provides $1.96 million to support advancements to Oregon State’s autonomous boat operations and data-collection tools that will be vital for the high-risk project to observe tumultuous waters as close as possible to the face of the tidewater glacier. The grant also covers the mentorship and participation of students, two early career women scientists and K-12 educational outreach. The UO’s portion of the grant, $253,192, will help cover expenses for underwater imagery, Sutherland said. The funds also will support Sutherland’s graduate student Nicole Abib, who is exploring the calving of glaciers as melting produces freshwater that flows out near the ocean surface and drives a return flow that draws in deep warmer ocean water toward the glacier. In July 2019, a Sutherland-led team published results of the first field tests that produced findings counter to a long-used theory on melting under glaciers. The findings, in the journal Science, suggested that melting was potentially occurring at two orders of magnitude, or some 100 times, faster than predicted. "This NSF award provides an exciting new opportunity to leverage OSU's strength in oceanography and robotic technologies to make the first direct measurements of ice melt beneath the dangerous calving ice cliffs of a tidewater glacier" said OSU oceanographer Jonathan Nash, who is the grant’s principal investigator. "These observations are a key element necessary to better predict the severity of sea level rise driven by our changing climate. Never before have measurements like this been possible." Imagery will be done using multibeam sonar mounted on a small, remotely operated vehicle to be used in conjunction with the deployment of a first-of-its-kind network of coordinated underwater acoustic, optical and unmanned sensors. The UO’s part of the project will begin in the second year of the grant, Sutherland said. The ultimate goal of the project, he said, is to determine if small spatial changes in the glacier’s shape or small time variations in ocean currents near the glacier’s face are what ultimately control the large-scale response to ocean forcing. In addition to Nash and Sutherland, the project also involves glaciologist Erin Pettit, coastal engineer Meagan Wengrove and numerical modeler Eric Skyllingstad, all at OSU, and oceanographer Rebecca Jackson at Rutgers University. The NSF grant was announced in a joint statement issued by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon. —By Jim Barlow, University Communications   https://around.uoregon.edu/content/uo-and-osu-work-together-glacier-melting-research

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  • Legislature delivers funding for new boat at OIMB

    In October 2019, local leaders gathered on the dock at the University of Oregon’s Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) in Charleston to get a look at an old boat. It had become clear that OIMB’s students and faculty had outgrown the current vessel. The Pluteus was built in 1973.  Before it was acquired by OIMB, it was used in the relatively calm nearshore waters of the tropical Atlantic. The old engines and electrical systems have reached the end of their life, and it is too small to carry most classes of students to waters outside the bay in Charleston.  “I have used our current boat my entire time at OIMB,” said Caitlin Plowman, a doctoral student who completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marine biology at the UO in 2014 and 2017. “A new boat will allow us to go further offshore faster and to sample deeper depths, which will be great for students like myself who study deep-sea invertebrates.” “As the number of students interested in studying in Charleston has continued to grow, and the type of research they are doing has expanded, OIMB had a good problem, but it was a problem we were determined to fix.” said State Senator Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay). The group agreed to renew efforts to get the state to invest in a new research and teaching vessel that would be built right in Coos Bay by local company TarHeel Aluminum. Recognizing the need, in 2019 the Coos County Board of Commissioners contributed $50,000 of county funding to help get the new boat designed, so that if state and private funding came through work could begin immediately. “Our job as elected leaders is to look for ways to revitalize our south coast economy. I was proud to work with the County Commission to invest in a project that would bring jobs to the south coast” said Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins. Efforts to secure state investment were almost successful earlier this year, but fell through when the Legislature became deadlocked over climate change legislation. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the economy took a dive, and the prospect of getting state funding seemed very low. We were disappointed we couldn’t get (the funding bill) over the finish line (during the regular legislative session) in 2020,” said Craig Young, director of the Institute. “But we’re also energized by the support and interest of our leaders. The boat is a floating classroom that provides a level of student experience that cannot be obtained in any other way. It will also be a unique and important resource for marine research on the South Coast.” Still, local leaders pressed on. “There was no way we were going to give up. OIMB is a treasured part of our community, they needed a new research boat, and local companies needed the work.” commented State Representative Caddy Mckeown (D-Coos Bay). “We had a great story to tell, local and state dollars, leveraging private investment from the University, creating jobs on the South Coast at Tarheel Aluminum. Win-win-win,” noted State Representative David Brock-Smith (R-Port Orford). Brock-Smith, Roblan, McKeown, and Cribbins all worked on the project, and their efforts paid off when lobbying legislative leaders to keep the money in the budget. When the Legislature released a 52-page bill to rebalance the state budget, filled mostly with cuts to other state programs, it included $500,000 to the University of Oregon for a new boat at OIMB. “The university is grateful for this investment from the state that will allow us to improve the quality of our programs at OIMB. Students and faculty alike will benefit from being able to conduct research and exploration on this new vessel, said UO President Michael Schill. In addition to helping add capacity and modernize research at OIMB, this project will have a larger legacy. Building a new boat is about more than just work for TarHeel—it’s about the future. When asked what this project meant to his company, Tarheel owner Kyle Cox said, “We’ve worked closely with the students and faculty at OIMB to design a boat that will meet the needs of marine research. When we are finished with this project, I will be able to say to prospective clients not only do we build and repair fishing boats, but we have experience in building research boats for universities. That will expand our business, and is good for the shipyard here in Coos Bay for years to come.” The University is working with TarHeel to finalize the plans and construction on the new boat should begin soon, thanks to the work of South Coast lawmakers and Coos County commissioners.

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  • UO ranks No. 10 in Gilman Scholars with highest number ever

    First published in Around the O on July 27th.  With 25 Ducks receiving the prestigious Gilman Scholarship this year, the University of Oregon is ranked 10th in the nation for the study abroad award and has the largest number of Gilman recipients in university history. In addition, the UO has six alternates, and one of the scholarship recipients was chosen for the new Gilman-McCain Scholarship. With a total of 59 UO applicants, the university’s success rate this year was 42 percent. “It's something we are really proud of since this is a huge accomplishment, and it shows the academic strength and international engagement of our students, said anthropology professor Josh Snodgrass, who directs the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “It also shows how we are supporting our students who are in most in need of support since this scholarship only goes to students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding.” The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards up to $5,000 for undergraduate students to study abroad. The scholarship is available to students who are currently receiving the Pell Grant, while the new Gilman-McCain Scholarship is available to dependents of active-duty military. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all recipients are given the option of changing or deferring their program to a later date. Recipients can use the award for travel-based programs beginning January 2021. Recipients can also use the award in summer or fall 2020 to participate in virtual programs, such as the #NoPassportNeeded program at the UO.  The UO Division of Global Engagement, which hosts the Global Education Oregon study abroad office, serves the UO community and 30 partner institutions. It offers more than 200 programs in 90 countries, with the option to study or intern while abroad.   “The UO is immensely proud of our 25 students who competed against top national talent to earn Gilman Scholarships,” said Dennis Galvan, dean and vice provost for global engagement. “These prestigious federal awards help defray the costs of enriching education abroad programs for students of color and from underrepresented groups. They earned UO a rank of 10th in the U.S. in Gilman awards, not factoring in university size.” Gilman recipient and Portland native Anna Mills, who is studying public relations and ethnic studies with a minor in creative writing, had planned to participate in a service-oriented program, Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice in Bolivia. Her program was canceled due to COVID-19, but she will use her award when it returns next summer. “Receiving this scholarship helps me achieve a lifelong goal and passion for going abroad and applying the knowledge I learn to my everyday life,” she said. “I believe UO was ranked as the No. 10 school in the nation for Gilman recipients because it has normalized that studying abroad is achievable and something everyone should experience if they can. The support and resources are amazing.” Another Gilman Scholarship recipient, Yulissa Garcia, a senior majoring in international studies with a concentration in diplomacy and international relations and minoring in legal studies, said her success is due to the hard work and the motivation instilled in her through her family. “Receiving the Gilman Scholarship means that I will be able to literally and figuratively afford to take a step forward in my studies,” she said. ”But for my family, it means that I am able to demonstrate that hard work does pay off. I come from a family of immigrants who have endured hard labor for most of their lives, and they are my motivation to continue working hard for all the opportunities I encounter.” Galvan emphasizes the importance of accessible global education for all students, no matter their background, especially given the current focus on racial injustice in America.  “At a time when the University of Oregon, the state of Oregon, the U.S. and the world are grappling, again, with issues of racial justice, Gilman Scholarships in this remarkable number are powerful,” he said. “The more students of every color who get to know the world and the younger that Americans learn to see the peculiarity and brutality of our own racial history, the clearer it will be to see the world with new eyes and a fresh perspective.” Subject to UO travel approval, students can apply for travel-based study abroad programs leaving as early as fall 2020. The programs exceed the current standards for health and safety in education abroad. As early as January 2021, Gilman recipients can use their scholarship towards a UO study abroad program. The UO Gilman Scholarship recipients are: Kevin Aleman: Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey University Exchange, Mexico. Jennifer Beltran: GlobalWorks Argentina. Sierra Burke: Hanyang University Exchange. Yacki Carrasco-Vivar: Dankook University Exchange. Jeanie Chen: Nagoya University Exchange. Celeste Concha: Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice in Bolivia. Katee Early: global economics in London with internship. Yulissa Garcia, human rights and peace studies in the Balkans. Laila Golrangi: Curtin University Exchange. Lily Hamilton: Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey University Exchange, Mexico. Collin Hurley-Kemp: intensive Italian language in Lecce, Italy. Tyra Judge: global health, development, and service learning in Accra, Ghana. Lena Karam: Copenhagen Business School Exchange. Cheyenne Klamath-Williamson: sustainable development and social change in Jaipur, India. Mia LaRiccia: summer accelerated Chinese language in Tainan, Taiwan. Mariella Mandujano: gender, race and class in London. Angelica Mejia: GlobalWorks Ecuador. Anna Mills, indigenous rights and environmental justice in Bolivia. Ciera Nguyen: GlobalWorks in Vietnam. Tay Sikruttamart: urban design in Barcelona, Spain. idija Sovulj: refugees, health and humanitarian action in Amman, Jordan. Edna Ventura: GlobalWorks South Korea. Katey Williams: French immersion in Angers. Luke Wu: Waseda University Exchange. Madison Zbinden: Copenhagen.  —By Kavita Battan, Division of Global Engagement Student Life

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  • Government walks back rule change on international students

    First posted on Around the O on July 14, 2020. The Trump administration has abandoned a plan that would have limited the ability of international students to study in the U.S., just days after the University of Oregon and 19 other schools filed a federal lawsuit challenging the move. The reversal helped resolve another suit, filed earlier by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and seeking a preliminary injunction to block the change. The agreement reinstates an earlier policy in which the administration allowed international students to remain in the country when classes are moved entirely online to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Multiple lawsuits were filed after the administration rescinded that policy and said international students could not come to or remain in the U.S. if universities held all classes online. The UO was the lead plaintiff in one of those lawsuits, which was filed Monday, July 13, in U.S. District Court in Eugene. The suit sought a temporary restraining order against the proposed rule, issued on July 6 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, part of the Department of Homeland Security. The nationwide rule would have subjected students studying in the U.S. on educational visas to deportation should their studies pivot to remote-based instruction as a public health protection measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The suit challenged the federal agency’s action as arbitrary and capricious, alleging it was issued without even the most minimal attempt to address its consequences to hundreds of thousands of students and the thousands of colleges and universities that educate them. The Trump administration announced the shift earlier this month in a reversal of previous temporary guidance that had allowed international students’ education to not be disrupted by online education during the pandemic. The new rules would have forced international students to return to their home countries within 15 days if they are enrolled solely in classes taught online.

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  • UO experts submit recommendations on preparing for next pandemic to Senate HELP Committee

    On June 9, U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released a white paper, entitled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic.”  The chairman called for feedback from the public on the five recommendations outlined in the paper. The area of focus are 1) tests, treatments, and vaccines; 2) disease surveillance; 3) stockpiles, distribution, and surges; 4) public health capabilities; and 5) coordination of federal agencies during a public health emergency. Researchers at the University of Oregon responded to this call. Several of the submittals emphasized the role of universities as part of preparations for the next pandemic. Public health capabilities and agency coordination: To improve state and local capacity to respond and improve coordination of federal agencies during a public health emergency, UO Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President for Safety and Risk Services André Le Duc and Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE) Robert Parker, alongside the IPRE’s Co-Director of Research Benjamin Clark, provided their expertise to Congress. As the founder of the Disaster Resilient Universities® (DRU) Network, Le Duc submitted a letter conveying the contributions of the nation’s institutions of higher education (IHEs) in emergency management at the local, state, and federal level. As a leader in the development of community and organizational resilience, Le Duc brought together the DRU Network and the National Center for Campus Public Safety (NCCPS) in 2015 to conduct the first national needs assessment of emergency management programs at IHEs in the United States. The assessment produced five recommendations, which Le Duc urged Congress to adopt. For Le Duc, “[t]his interdisciplinary approach to campus risk management, public safety, and emergency preparedness is simple and effective; it leverages our key asset, our people, by connecting and unifying knowledge, skills, and technical assistance to address ever-changing vulnerabilities at universities and colleges.” Through their work with the IPRE, Parker and Clark wrote a letter encouraging Congress to support a number of programs and policies to assist the country in a more rapid recovery and a more resilient future, including massive investments in testing and tracing and investments in coordination of the economic recovery by increasing support for regional resiliency coordination bodies, regional business recovery centers, Economic Development Administration (EDA) university centers for economic development, and AmeriCorps.

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  • UO leads suit to block ICE international student rules

    Update: The guidance was rescinded by the federal government on July 14. The University of Oregon is the lead plaintiff in a coalition of 20 of the top institutions in the West in a suit asking the federal courts to prevent the government from revoking visas of international students whose studies will be entirely online in the fall. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene on Monday, July 13, seeks a temporary restraining order against the proposed rule issued on July 6 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, part of the Department of Homeland Security. The nationwide rule would subject students studying in the U.S. on educational visas to deportation should their studies pivot to remote-based instruction as a public health protection measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The suit challenges the federal agency’s action as arbitrary and capricious, alleging it was issued without even the most minimal attempt to address its consequences to hundreds of thousands of students and the thousands of colleges and universities that educate them. The coalition joins Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California system and Johns Hopkins University, which have also filed litigation to block the action. The coalition in University of Oregon v. Department of Homeland Security is represented by Gibson Dunn, and Crutcher, the legal team that successfully defended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program before the United States Supreme Court in a decision issued last month. UO President Michael H. Schill said he hopes the courts will move quickly to block the action and provide more certainty to international students who face disruption, financial harm and incredible stress. “This new guidance is cruel, unfair and misguided,” Schill said. “It targets one population for sudden exclusion if a university makes decisions for safety to move instruction online. It has no sound justification in health or educational policy. Unless blocked by the courts, it will cause devastating disruption to the educational and research experience of University of Oregon international students already in the United States, as well as those looking to come to the UO.” The Trump administration announced the new guidance earlier this month in a reversal of previous temporary guidance that has allowed international students’ education to not be disrupted by online education during the pandemic. The new rules would force international students to return to their home countries within 15 days if they are enrolled solely in classes taught online. “The government’s reckless and arbitrary action not only harms these students, but also robs institutions of higher education of the autonomy and flexibility to adapt models of instruction to meet the urgent needs posed by a global pandemic,” members of the coalition said in a written statement. In the suit, UO Dean and Vice Provost for Global Engagement Dennis Galvan provided a declaration outlining how the “significant, immediate, and irreparable negative impacts on University of Oregon students and the University of Oregon as an institution” would suffer if the government adopts the ICE rules. Galvan said he has already heard from many international students experiencing extraordinary stress. That comes on top of the shared pressure of the pandemic and global efforts to grapple, again, with racial justice. “International students are vital to our success in research, teaching, and building diverse and inclusive communities,” Galvan wrote. “Whether they are studying in-person or remotely, international students provide a significant source of diversity to our community and global connections that are valuable to everyone. We are pursuing this case because all international students studying in this country deserve the right to continue their education without risk of deportation.” The UO had 1,871 international undergraduate and graduate students at the institution last year. International students also make up a portion of graduate students who also contribute to teaching and research at the university. The Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation spoke out against the guidance and urged the UO to support international students. In a statement, GTFF local 3544 said it welcomes the role the UO is taking. “This change to SEVP is fueled by xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment with complete disregard for the sacrifices many international students make to study in the U.S.,” the statement said. “International students make irreplaceable contributions to UO’s academic community through their participation in classroom discussions, their original and groundbreaking research and publications, and their work in the classroom as instructors. Our community is enriched by their presence every day.” Since the federal government announced the intent to create new ICE rules, the UO has been working with the Oregon congressional delegation and national associations of higher education to reverse the ICE guidance. To date, five of Oregon’s seven members of Congress have signed letters to Homeland Security asking that the guidance be reversed. The UO also has joined with other institutions of higher education in asking congressional leaders to codify the flexibility granted in March if government does not withdraw its guidance. The universities in the coalition are the University of Southern California, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Arizona State University, California Institute of Technology, Chapman University, Claremont McKenna College, Northern Arizona University, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Santa Clara University, Scripps College, Seattle University, Stanford University, St. Mary’s College of California, University of Arizona, University of the Pacific, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco and University of Utah. —By Jennifer Winters, University Communications

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