UMass Dartmouth Administration Expresses Concern for Iranian Professors

Mazdak Tootkaboni and Arghaven Louhghalam are both back teaching on campus

One of the two University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professors who was detained over the weekend following President Donald Trump's newly enforced travel ban is speaking out. Meanwhile, school administrators are expressing concern over the ordeal.

Amid the weekend chaos at Logan Airport, UMass Dartmouth professors Mazdak Tootkaboni and Arghaven Louhghalam, also husband and wife, were detained and then finally released.

Both are now back on campus and back to work.

"We were just told that there was this new rule in place that we had to go through this inspection and that was all," recalled Arghaven Louhghalam. "They took the passport, they did the inspection, we had to sit for awhile. It was three hours."

Their colleagues on campus say they are thankful the couple is back at school, but worried about the future.

The 16 students and 8 faculty members here from the countries impacted by the new executive order on immigration are just a small part of the diversity on campus the school takes pride in.

“It’s just so enriching when you’re studying business for example to have someone next to you whose from one of maybe 15 countries talking and about some kind of work in their country is incredibly important to them,” said Magali Carrera, UMass Dartmouth Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Faculty members hope the flow of international students and staff will still be strong, but what’s to come is still unclear.

“Higher ed relies on a global draw to be successful," said political science professor Doug Roscoe. "We look to get the best and brightest, both for our faculty and for students.”

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