A community college in Texas is informing international applicants that it is not accepting students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.
A copy of a letter from the college’s director of International Programs, dated Oct. 2 and informing an applicant of the policy, was published by local television stations in Dallas, as well as CNBC, NBC and other websites Tuesday and Wednesday.
The letter from Director of International Programs Elizabeth A. Pillans, as published on the website of CBS 11 TV in Dallas, reads in part:
"With sincere regret, I must report that Navarro College is not able to offer you acceptance for the Spring 2015 term. Unfortunately, Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases."
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That same day — Oct. 2 — in a statement provided to the Corsicana Daily Sun, college officials made no mention of any policy change, only that it was referring to local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control for information.
The newspaper had reached out to the college, asking how the college was addressing current concerns about the Ebola virus in the wake of an active case reported in Dallas for a story that was published Oct. 4 about local preparations for a disease such as Ebola.
The college’s response included no mention it was turning away such applicants, or had adopted any policy change — only that it was considering the latest information from the CDC in its planning.
The Oct. 2 statement to the Daily Sun from Margaret Moreno, Navarro College Public Information Director, states:
“The safety of Navarro College students, faculty and staff is our top concern. Navarro College refers to our local health department and the CDC concerning literature on awareness to highly communicable diseases, such as Ebola and tuberculosis. Navarro College has a safety committee that meets to discuss such topics. Presently this sort of awareness is being implemented into the college’s procedures.”
A subsequent email to college students and staff sent on Oct. 10 from College District President Dr. Barbara Kavalier — a copy of which was obtained by the Daily Sun — also makes no mention of refusing admittance to international students from countries with Ebola cases, and indicates the college was taking action well in advance of its Oct. 2 statement.
Eric Meyers, director of the Navarro County Office of Emergency Management, said college officials took part in a meeting last week about local preparations for Ebola, but did not inform him of the policy.
CNBC News is reporting a response from Dewayne Gragg, Navarro College vice-president of Access and Accountability, saying “Unfortunately, some students received incorrect information regarding their application to the institution.” Gragg said the college was focusing on China and Indonesia for its recruitment, but would not address any ban on Ebola-impacted countries.
Information for this story was reported by the Corsicana (Texas) Daily Sun.