Topeka Kansas University has received more than one anonymous request from legislators for figures on the number of international students enrolled there, Chancellor Robert Hemenway and another official said Friday.
Hemenway said the request came through the Legislative Research Department. Legislative leaders have a policy that requires the department to keep such requests confidential, Director Ben Barrett noted.
The KU chancellor mentioned the request during a luncheon for journalists touring the university campus in Lawrence. He did not offer an opinion about it but only mentioned it when asked about how recent terrorist attacks might affect programs.
Paul D'Anieri, associate dean of international programs, said he fears there will be efforts to restrict the number of international students who are allowed to come to Kansas.
"I would argue in light of last week's events, that we need to have our students more aware of what is going around the world," he told The Topeka Capital-Journal.
D'Anieri estimated that 1,150 international students are enrolled at Kansas. The university's enrollment is about 27,000, with 24,000 students on its Lawrence campus. Final enrollment figures for the fall semester are expected next week.
He said there may be nothing wrong with the request for information "in the abstract" and he understands the need to be cautious because of the attacks by terrorists.
"It's frightening to learn that some of these people have been in the country for years studying at American institutions," D'Anieri said.
But he added that the United States largely has nothing to fear from international students.