Wellness Center

January 5 - Update on New Mandatory Vaccination Policy (Faculty & Staff)

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Prior to the holiday break, we announced that the college would be requiring the full vaccination of faculty and staff. I am writing this afternoon to share greater details about our new vaccination policy, which can be found at https://ursinus.edu/VaccinationPolicy.

The college’s leadership decided to pursue this measure after consulting with the Virus Task Force and health officials in Montgomery County. Over the past month, we have seen a significant increase in the number of positive test results across this region–a trajectory that may continue well into the winter season, when most of us will be spending greater time indoors with one another. We’ve experienced several different variants of the virus and, together, have adjusted to these changes with grace and determination. But we have come to the point where we must do all we can to safeguard the health and well-being of our campus and, most importantly, each and every one of you, especially in an environment wrought with uncertainty.

To that end, every faculty and staff member is required to fill out this short Qualtrics survey showing their vaccination status by January 10: https://go.ursinus.edu/VaccinationForm. This allows us to have an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of our campus vaccination rate. For those who indicate they are not fully vaccinated, they will have until February 10–approximately one month–to either show proof of vaccination or obtain approval for an exemption as set forth in the policy. We understand that the timeframe may seem ambitious and ask all employees to show diligent, good faith efforts to comply with this important new policy.

Vaccinations have been required for all students since the start of the academic year. Though we don’t reside on campus, we believe it’s reasonable that we hold ourselves to the same standard we expect of our students. Simply stated, mandating vaccinations is a vital tool–perhaps the best tool we have–to reduce the presence and severity of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. For those faculty and staff who seek an exemption for medical or religious reasons, the policy provides a process to apply for such an exemption.

In a related matter, employees should continue to work remotely until further notice. We acknowledge that may not be feasible for everyone, especially those actively planning for our students’ return the week of January 17. Please prioritize your health so that we may begin the semester in as safe a manner as possible.

We all have an important role to play in keeping our campus as vibrant and healthy as possible. This new policy also provides clear guidance on such matters as proof of vaccination documentation, our updated testing protocol for employees, and key preventative measures such as mask-wearing. Should you have general questions about vaccine safety and efficacy, please visit the CDC website for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html.

Thank you for your cooperation and please put time aside to review and become familiar with the new policy.

Sincerely,

President Jill Leauber Marsteller ’78, P’18
Vice President Mark Schneider, Chair of the Virus Task Force