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Updated 10:00 AM July 24, 2006




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Middle East conflict and the U-M community

As the conflict in the Middle East heightened over the last week, the University worked to determine how many students, faculty and staff were in the region. Although there are no official University programs in the affected countries, a number of individuals are known to be in the area and some have left.

U-M has approximately 30 scholars and 95 students—current or newly incoming this fall—who hold international visas from Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and Iran, and whose whereabouts are not all known, says Julie Peterson, associate vice president for media relations. A group, including a faculty member, two current students and two recent alumni were on an archaeological dig in northern Israel and since have been evacuated.

"The University of Michigan is a global community. It is not uncommon for our students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars to be directly affected by events occurring in other parts of the world," Peterson says. "When that happens, it is important for us to be aware of these impacts for many reasons. We care about our community members and we want to offer our support when they are experiencing difficulties. We may be able to use our resources to assist with emergency transportation, visa issues, and other processes that may get in the way of their safe return. We also may need to make adjustments in terms of financial aid, availability to teach or to attend scheduled courses, housing arrangements, etc."

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