Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and to our institution. Throughout the pandemic, you have been central to ensuring academic continuity and crafting a safe return plan – a plan that not only met but exceeded the health and safety guidelines for higher education set forth by local, state, and federal entities. You have helped our campus community navigate the most challenging times in generations with grace and good will. For this, I am deeply appreciative.
As we prepare for the fall semester and work to ensure our campus can safely return to pre-pandemic operations, I am writing today to share an update on our efforts to maintain a safe and healthy campus community. As you know, the state universities will require all students to be fully immunized against COVID-19 with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine before returning to campus for the fall semester. This COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement is being extended to include all university employees who are excluded from coverage under collective bargaining agreements.
While this vaccination requirement does not currently apply to employees covered by collective bargaining agreements (APA, AFSCME and MSCA), related conversations with union leaders are being initiated to ensure all members of our campus community, who are not eligible for an exemption, are vaccinated this semester. I will update employees as those discussions take place. All employees covered under this policy will be required to submit proof of vaccination.
All employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, including non-unit professional, non-unit classified, and part-time, temporary, contract employees, must have received at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine by September 1, 2021 and have received the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine no later than October 1, 2021, unless the employee has applied for and received a religious or medical exemption from the university. Religious and medical exemptions will be reviewed and granted following the same exemption procedures the university utilizes in the case of other vaccination requirements consistent with state law and past campus practice. Employees covered under this policy who are not vaccinated will be required to participate in regular COVID-19 surveillance testing until the university determines those measures are no longer required.
Your health and safety, as well as the wellbeing of our campus and host communities, continues to be our top priority. As we continue to combat the worst global pandemic in more than a century, we are adopting this policy because vaccines are the best way to protect ourselves and our community against the COVID-19 virus. They also help to protect those unable to get vaccinated. If you would like to know more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines.
Should you have any questions regarding this requirement, please contact Ezekiel Holt in human resources and equal opportunity at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your continued collaboration as we work to keep our campus and the surrounding community as safe as possible.
John D. Keenan