Message from Dean Hess to School’s international students

The following message from Dean Diana Hess was emailed to international students who are studying within the School of Education on Wednesday, July 8.

Dear School of Education international students:

Earlier this week, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new guidance that is creating anxiety and confusion for international students within our School of Education, across UW–Madison, and around the nation. As Chancellor Blank explained in a statement yesterday: “The rule would apply to 5,800 UW–Madison new or continuing F-1 students in any level of study. (J-1 students are exempt.) We’re aware that a substantial number are currently in the U.S. or plan to be this fall.”

I want you to know that the School of Education will do whatever it takes to ensure that international students can continue their academic programs. School leaders are working with campus leadership to learn more about these procedures and their impact on our students. The School of Education, like the UW–Madison campus as a whole, plans to offer a hybrid model of instruction this fall. As part of these efforts, all of our departments currently plan to offer courses in a variety of modalities, including many that are face-to-face. As Chancellor Blank noted in her statement, we believe “this would allow international students to enroll in face-to-face classes and remain in the United States while continuing their studies.”

UW–Madison’s International Student Services is offering guidance on F-1 student enrollment, and is inviting international students to a virtual information session on Fall 2020 instruction on Thursday, July 9, at 8 a.m. Central Time. I encourage you to participate in this information session.

This is an evolving situation, and our campus leaders are urging the federal government to stay or amend this plan through direct contact with Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation, among other channels.

We realize that while the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, these last several months have been especially difficult for our international students.

The School of Education is committed to serving our international students. You are an important part of our community, and we will support and advocate for you in the weeks and months ahead.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Dean’s Office at



Diana E. Hess, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education
Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education