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Russian Court Orders Deportation of SUNY Buffalo Group

December 13, 2019

A Russian court ordered the deportation of five Americans affiliated with the State University of New York at Buffalo for violating the terms of their visas, Reuters reported. The court said that the Americans entered on tourist visas but had given a lecture at a local university. “This activity did not correspond with their stated purpose for entering the Russian Federation,” the court said in a statement.

Buffalo said in a statement provided to Inside Higher Ed that two School of Management faculty members, two staff members and one alumnus traveled to Russia on Dec. 3. They visited Moscow Polytechnic University on Dec. 6 and were detained Dec. 9.

"At this point, we believe there was a misunderstanding between the UB faculty and staff and the Russian university regarding the purpose of their brief visit to the Russian university," Buffalo said. "The university faculty and staff viewed it as an open discussion, but it appears the Russian university interpreted it as a formal lecture."

"On Dec. 10, each person paid a small fine and left Russia the following day," Buffalo's statement added. "We are still gathering information and expect to conduct a full debriefing on the matter in the coming days." The university did not release the names of the individuals involved out of respect for their privacy.

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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