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50 Business School Deans Implore Trump in an Open Letter: “Reform the H-1B Visa”

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MBA applicants in need of the H-1B visa have seen increasing challenges since the current U.S. administration took office.  Today, 50 business school deans and CEOs banded together to address U.S. leadership about this growing crisis—and how to ameliorate it—through a full-page ad in the Washington edition of the Wall Street Journal.

The full text of the letter follows.

To America’s Leaders:

President Donald J. Trump
Vice President Michael Pence
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Senate Majority Leader Addison “Mitch” McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer

We represent a cross-section of America’s economy, now and into the future. As CEOs, deans of business schools across the country, and industry organizations, we have insights into what the U.S. economy needs now, and what it will need 10, 20, and 30 years into the future. We are helping to lead this generation of businesses and train the next generation of leaders who will succeed us.

We are also urgently concerned – we do not believe the U.S. has the high-skill talent it needs, nor does it have the capacity to train enough people with those skills. Without a substantial change in our approach, this deficit of skills in key fields will hinder economic growth.

The fact that our economy has created an estimated three million open STEM jobs is a positive. It speaks to the vibrancy and opportunities available in a healthy, growing economy. Yet the fact that those jobs are unfilled – and that the U.S. is not producing enough people with the skills to fill them – is not just a negative, it’s a crisis.

We are needlessly capping our growth and can do better.

America remains, as President Ronald Reagan put it, “a shining city upon a hill.” The best and brightest from all around the world want to come here, and their hard work and expertise make our economy stronger and more globally competitive. They want to provide American companies with insights with what approaches will succeed as these companies expand into foreign markets.

Yet a combination of our outdated laws, artificial regional and skills-based caps on immigration, and recent spikes in hostility are closing the door to the high-skilled immigrants our economy needs to thrive. For the first time since we started keeping track of these data, the past three years have seen a reduction in the number of foreign students studying in America’s universities and business schools. Every year, we turn away hundreds of thousands of high-skilled immigrants for no other reason than that they failed to win the H-1B lottery.

We cannot allow this dangerous negative trend to continue. As leaders committed to growth in America’s economy, we know that policy reforms could usher in immense benefits.  These should include:

Removing “per-country” visa caps, modernizing our visa processing system and reforming the H-1B visa program to make it possible for the most talented people to have a reasonable chance of gaining entry to the United States.

Creating a “heartland” visa that encourages immigration to the regions of the United States that could most use the vitality of these talented individuals.

We can maintain the shimmer of our ‘shining city upon a hill’ that welcomes immigrants, as it has throughout history, to a land of opportunity.

We hope you agree, and we urge you to take these recommendations seriously.

We are confident that America’s future economic success depends on it.


  • Andrew Ainslie, Simon Business School, University of Rochester
  • Paul Almeida, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
  • Eugene W. Anderson, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
  • Arjang Assad, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
  • Antonio Bernardo, UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • Bill Boulding, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
  • Peter Brews, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
  • Jeffrey R. Brown, Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Frank Buckless, Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University
  • Bob Camp, Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Anne Carroll, College of Business at Kutztown University, Kutztown University
  • Kerwin Charles, Yale School of Management, Yale University
  • Vivek Choudhury, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
  • Martha J. Crawford, PhD, Jack Welch College of Business & Technology, Sacred Heart University
  • Robert Dammon, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Scott DeRue, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • Sanjay Gupta, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University
  • Kevin Hallock, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University
  • Jay Hartzell, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin
  • Ann Elizabeth Harrison, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
  • Frank Hodge, Foster School of Business, University of Washington
  • David Hummels, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University
  • Charles Iacovou, School of Business, Wake Forest University
  • Erika James, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
  • Eric Johnson, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University
  • Eli Jones, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University
  • Idalene Kesner, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
  • John Kraft, Warrington College of Business, University of Florida
  • Stefanie Ann Lenway, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
  • Jonathan Levin, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
  • Costis Maglaras, Columbia Business School, Columbia University
  • Stephen L. Mangum, Haslam College of Business, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Sharon Matusik, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Susan McTiernan, Mario J. Gabelli School of Business, Roger Williams University
  • Anuj Mehrotra, School of Business, The George Washington University
  • Jacqueline R. Mozrall, Saunders School of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Matthew Myers, Edwin L. Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University
  • Mark W. Nelson, PhD, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University
  • Donna Rapaccioli, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University
  • Keith Rollag, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Babson College
  • Marc Rubin, Farmer School of Business, Miami University
  • Douglas Shackelford, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina
  • Matthew Slaughter, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
  • Ira Solomon, A.B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University
  • David Souder, School of Business, University of Connecticut
  • Raghu Sundaram, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
  • Paul Tesluk, University at Buffalo School of Management, The State University of New York
  • Dr. Richard D. White, Jr., E. J. Ourso College of Business, Louisiana State University
  • Charles H. Whiteman, Smeal College of Business, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Sri Zaheer, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Stay tuned for more coverage from Clear Admit.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.