Employees of state universities must be fully immunized by December 8, 2021.
The Mississippi Higher Education Institutions Board of Trustees has decided that all public universities in the state must require faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This move is in line with President Joe Biden’s recent executive order requiring vaccinations, Ordinance 14042.
IHL did not extend the requirement to students.
However, the new requirement is a change from their September decision not to make vaccination a prerequisite for employment. At that time, the IHL Council went further and voted to ban colleges and universities from implementing a COVID vaccine mandate for employment or registration, except in clinical settings.
RELATED: IHL Council Bans COVID Vaccine at Public Universities as a Condition of Student Employment and Enrollment
Incentives for students and faculty who have chosen to be vaccinated have been given to the state’s eight public universities.
With President Biden in office, the White House has indicated that all institutions that sign up will be listed on the White House website and feature in college champion vaccines throughout the summer on social media, events and remarks. The administration also promised to facilitate events for colleges to learn from each other – panels, communities of practice, etc.
RELATED: Federal. Vaccine. Mandates.
The change from IHL came at the board meeting on October 25, with the impending deadlines of executive orders requiring the first dose of Moderna to be received by October 27, Pfizer by November 3, or Johnson and Johnson before November 24.
During the meeting, a motion was put forward to change the previous direction of the board to conform to the federal mandate. The motion was approved by a 9-3 vote. Opposition voters were Teresa Hubbard, Jeanne Luckey and Gregory Radar.
Hubbard reported that the wording for the motion was sent out at 11:30 p.m. the night before, and some said they never received the full motion. She tried during the meeting to postpone the vote in order to completely absorb the information.
She asked for more time and said the motion should simply require universities to comply with the federal vaccine mandate, without the additional wording in the motion. His attempt to get more time was not granted and the original motion was eventually passed.
Mississippi State University released the following statement from President Mark Keenum after the IHL ruling was made.
â€œMississippi State University is governed by the board of trustees of state institutions of higher learning, as are all public universities in our state. The Council must comply with all state and federal laws and guidelines, including White House presidential decrees. Therefore, the resolution of the Council today [Oct. 25] that requires state university employees to be fully vaccinated is a direct result of President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 and its stipulation that federal contractors must be vaccinated.
â€œAs one of the National Science Foundation’s top 100 research universities, the state of Mississippi has extensive contracts with the federal government and partnerships with many federal agencies affected by President Biden’s order. MSU will comply with this directive of the board of directors, as we do with all directives of the board. We begin the process of informing employees of the federal vaccine requirement, as well as any exemptions they have under the law for which they may be eligible. “
Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce also released a statement:
“I am writing to you about the University of Mississippi’s response to the vote earlier today by the board of trustees of state institutions of higher learning ordering all universities to comply with an executive order issued. last month by President Biden on “Ensuring Adequate COVID Security Protocols for Federal Contractors.”
“To comply with the order, the University of Mississippi will require that all UM employees (including faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates) be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 . Please note that this vaccination requirement is a condition of employment at the university, not a condition of enrollment. If you are a student who is not employed by the university, you are not required to be vaccinated. The IHL Council has kept in place its directive preventing COVID-19 vaccination warrants as a condition of enrollment.
â€œIf you are a student employee (graduate or undergraduate) of the University of Mississippi, this vaccination mandate will apply to you and vaccination will be required for the job. Student employees will receive a separate communication with additional details.
â€œThe university continues to follow health and safety guidelines when determining the university’s response to COVID-19. I want to encourage all students to get vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of their employment status, as vaccination remains the best way to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. Please visit the university’s vaccination webpage for more information, including information on campus vaccination clinics at Johnson Commons on October 26, 28, 29 and October 2, 3, 9, 17, 19 and November 30.
“Be careful. Be responsible.”
All employees, except those who meet exemption requirements, must be fully immunized by December 8, 2021. These exemptions will include religious and medical reasons.