Partner Sites

Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

An Open Letter From US Business School Deans To President Trump

50 deans from America's top business schools and CEOs have signed an open letter demanding changes to US immigration policy

Tue Oct 15 2019

50 deans from top US business schools, as well as CEOs from leading companies, have signed a letter addressed to President Trump and other US political leaders demanding changes to visa laws and immigration policies.

The letter has been published alongside a new white paper released by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), Early Warning Signals: Winners and Losers in the Global Race for Talent, which warns of the dangers to global economies that restricting high-skilled immigration can bring.

The letter comes as international applications to US business schools go down again, falling by 13.7% between 2018 and 2019.

Here is the letter in full:

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...

e 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.


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

You can read the original letter here.