Faculty at UMass Dartmouth react after 2 professors detained

Faculty at UMass Dartmouth are shaken by the executive order banning travel from seven Muslim countries that left two of their professors detained at Logan Airport over the weekend.

"I think that it’s fair the say that the faculty was quite upset over the weekend about the events, concerned for their colleagues and the experience they had to go through,” said Dr. Doug Roscoe a Political Science Professor at UMass Dartmouth.

The engineering professors, Mazdak Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam, were coming back from a sustainable engineering conference in France when they were taken into custody. They are married and both have green cards.

"I spoke to both of them within minutes of exiting the airport. They were in good spirits,” said Dr. Ramprasad Balasubrananian, the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at UMass Dartmouth. "They didn’t talk a lot about their experience when they were in detention. But, what was conveyed was that they were treated well and the officers were friendly and helpful."

This situation ended relatively well, but now faculty at UMass Dartmouth are worried about what could happen moving forward.

"There’s many different ramifications for this and maybe we are just seeing the beginning,” said Christina Bruen, The Executive Director of International Education.

Bruen says there are 15 students currently enrolled at the school from Iraq or Iran and one scholar.

As far as professors go, in the College of Engineering there are six professors including the two who were detained from Iran.

"We look for the best and brightest both for our faculty and our students and if this inhibits the ability of the universities in this country to get the best and the brightest to come and teach and learn I think that would be a real tragedy,” said Roscoe.

(C) WLNE 2017