Dec. 8, 2021
To all faculty, staff, and student employees,
On Tuesday, December 7, a federal court in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the federal government from enforcing the COVID vaccination mandate for federal contractors, which was set forth in a federal executive order and related guidance issued in September.
The Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) gave university leaders the authority to follow the federal government’s executive order and related guidance as long as the order was not stayed, delayed or revoked. Since the executive order was stayed, the university is suspending its efforts to require vaccination of our employees. The vaccination requirement for those in an institutional clinical setting, which was permitted through separate board actions taken in August and September, shall remain in effect.
I want to thank all faculty, staff, and student employees who have been vaccinated. I especially want to express my appreciation to those who acted promptly to submit their vaccination record or request for an accommodation. Our community mobilized quickly in response to the mandate, and I appreciate the commitment shown by thousands of employees to respond. The university committee reviewing all pending requests for accommodation will put those requests on hold unless and until the mandate is reinstated.
We will continue to monitor any additional developments in the law, including any appeal of the Georgia decision and other court cases related to the vaccination mandate. As courts make their rulings, this situation could change. If the mandate is reinstated by a court, we will adjust our efforts accordingly.
While this action stays the mandate, the benefits of getting vaccinated are clear. As we approach the year-end holiday season when we will gather with family and friends, I urge everyone to make it a priority to protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated.
Glenn F. Boyce