DearColleague.us

Letter

Raja Krishnamoorthi

From the office of:

Raja Krishnamoorthi

Sending Office: Honorable Raja Krishnamoorthi
Sent By:
Rachel.Sorensen@mail.house.gov

Supporters: Association of American Universities, American Council on Education, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)

Members: Krishnamoorthi, Norman, Foster, McGovern, King (NY), R. Davis, Moulton, M. Levin, Brown, Fleischmann, Wilson, Walker, Cooper, Sarbanes, Vargas

Dear Colleague,

Please join me in signing the below letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking for additional information about the latent Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council.

The Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC) was formed in 2012 to serve as a convening forum for the higher education community and homeland security officials to discuss overlapping interests. These meetings discussed efforts to protect against
foreign influence, cybersecurity, immigration, natural disasters, and more. Universities and DHS were able to share best practices on export controls, cybersecurity attacks, and immigration issues.

However, HSAAC has not held any public meetings since 2017 and has not facilitated any communication we are aware of to universities and higher education institutions about the pause in meetings and what, if anything, would be implemented in place of the
council.

Please join us in sending a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking for further information about why this critical council has put its public-facing work on hold and why communications with higher education institutions have become more limited.
By facilitating regular communications between leaders in the homeland security and higher education community, we can ensure universities have all the resources they need to ensure a safe and productive education experience while being kept abreast of real
or potential threats to the academic community.

To sign on, please email rachel.sorensen@mail.house.gov or simon.joenler@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Raja Krishnamoorthi

Ralph Norman

****

[date]

 

The Honorable Chad F. Wolf

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Nebraska Ave. Center, NW

Washington, DC 20528

 

Dear Secretary Wolf:

We write to encourage you to expand your outreach to institutions of higher education through the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC).

As you know, HSAAC was formed in 2012 as a forum for the Department and the higher education community to discuss mutual areas of concern. The HSAAC Charter reads: “The HSAAC will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary and senior leadership
on matters relating to student and recent graduate recruitment; international students; academic research; campus and community resiliency, security and preparedness; faculty exchanges; and cybersecurity.”[1]

We were pleased that the Department reestablished HSAAC in 2018, as a way to revitalize the Council’s important work. At the time, the Department indicated that it was considering new appointments to the HSAAC and an expansion of topics. Our understanding,
however, is that HSAAC has not held any meetings since June 2017[2], and the membership of the Council no longer includes several major higher education associations.

While we appreciate the many priorities facing the Department, we believe that enhanced dialogue with colleges and universities would be mutually beneficial. In particular, we note two important topics that would benefit from an open and ongoing exchange
of information: namely, efforts to protect against undue foreign influence or illicit access to research; and concerns expressed by universities relating to changes and delays in visa processing that undermine their ability to continue attracting the best
and brightest from around the world. 

We thank you for your attention to this important issue and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Education, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security

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