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Scholars at Risk

Scholars at Risk (SAR - https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/) is an international network of individuals and institutions that supports displaced scholars and promotes academic freedom by advocating for those scholars when they are threatened in their home countries and by working to create hosting opportunities for them in other countries where they can pursue their research and teaching in safety.

SAR is only one of several institutions working to provide security for students and teachers around the world. These other networks include the Institute for International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE SRF), CARA in the UK (the Council for At-Risk Academics), and the Philip Schwarz Initiative (PSI) in Germany. All of these groups work to protect persecuted scholars by offering temporary research and teaching positions; monitoring and advocating against attacks on higher education; and conducting learning initiatives to promote academic freedom.

UCI’s Scholars at Risk program was established in 2017 with the support of the Provost’s Office as well as other campus leadership, including the Office of Global Engagement and the Vice Provost for Research, as well as many, many community supporters via our various ZotFunder fund raising campaigns. We work closely with SAR and the IIE SRF.
To date, we have been able to host a total of nine (9) highly accomplished scholars; along with them there have been fourteen (14) dependents, bringing them all to safety at UCI. They have come to us from Turkey, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and China and have been hosted in the departments of Cognitive Science and Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as in the Schools of Education and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in the UCI Law School, and in the Samuel Jordan Persian Center in Humanities and the Beckman Laser Institute.

While it can sometimes be difficult to rally campus and community support for displaced scholars without a high-profile crisis to galvanize attention, it has been absolutely heartening to see the huge number of faculty and colleagues as well as members of the greater UC Irvine community who have stepped up to welcome our guests in countless ways. To those of you who have already contributed, I – and, more importantly, the UCI SAR scholars – are more than grateful, and I invite you to continue your support by making a Giving Day gift to the UCI Scholars at Risk Fund. To those who are new to SAR, please consider adding your name to the extensive list of supporters of refugee scholars here at UCI! 

We are facing an unprecedented number of people on the move; the number of refugees is predicted to rise exponentially in the coming decades due to war, poverty and environmental degradation. Those of us involved in scholar rescue by no means want to suggest that only the scholars among these displaced people are worth our attention. We nevertheless do believe that as members of an academic institution that prides itself on free speech, freedom of thought, and the international exchange of knowledge and ideas, we are well positioned to assist in the work of securing a future for post-secondary education and advanced research by assisting colleagues around the world and in the U.S. whose work and careers are threatened when they are harassed, fired from their positions, jailed and tortured. 

When we do not say something and do something, we tacitly allow such actions to continue to occur.

I do hope you find the information about SAR at UCI here helpful as you see what a difference we all can make – both in these colleagues’ lives and in the life of our campus, which benefits immensely by their presence. There are many ways to create an alternative future, but a crucial one is for people to help people. I’d be delighted to have you involved in our efforts.

Jane O. Newman

Professor, Comparative Literature
UCI Faculty Liaison for Scholars at Risk
Chair, UC Systemwide Co-Ordinating Committee for Scholars at Risk
Member, US Section Steering Committee for Scholars at Risk

Scholars at Risk Donor Heatmap
Rank State Gifts
1 CA 11
2 NY 1
2 MA 1
Last But Not Least!
Congratulations to Tse-Wen Chen, a current student, whose gift to Solar Car Engineering Student Group won the Last But Not Least Challenge! With your gift Tse-Wen, $1000 in bonus funds will be awarded to Solar Car Engineering, thanks to the generous support of UCI Foundation trustees Gary and Melanie Singer!
Scholars at Risk Dollar-for-Dollar Match
Let’s come together to support refugee scholars! Thanks to a generous gift from Julia Lupton and Ken Reinhard, every gift made to Scholars at Risk will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000!
Scholars at Risk $25,000 Match
We have received a very generous gift of $25,000 from retired librarian Christina J. Woo, and invite you to join in and support this important program by contributing to matching it.
$2,230 MATCHED
Scholars at Risk "First 10" Challenge
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, help us reach 10 gifts to the Scholars at Risk Fund and we'll unlock $13,000 in support to SAR!
10 / 10 Gifts
Parent Power Hour 25 gift Challenge
Power Hour? How about a power 15-minutes?! Congratulations to our UCI Parent and Family community for coming together in record time to unlock $10,000 in support for Campus Organizations and Volunteer Programs! Keep the momentum going and support some of our outstanding matches and challenges below!
25 / 25 Gifts
1965 Challenge
Congratulations to Hilary Lapks! Your gift to Men's Volleyball just unlocked $1,965 in bonus funds for the program!
1,965 / 1,965 Gifts
Early Bird Challenge
Congratulations to Darcy Wilson-Jones (LGBT Resource Center), Katy Young (School of the Arts/Dance), Charlton Lee (Social Sciences Student Awards) and Rick Emerling (UCI Retirees Association Scholarships), for winning our Early Bird Challenge! $500 in bonus funds will be added to each of these funds in your honor!
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Questions? See our FAQ.

Or you can contact us at james.yokelle@uci.edu.