Ole Miss first to announce it is suspending efforts to vaccinate all employees.
On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court in Georgia issued a stay in the lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate, restricting enforcement of the nationwide mandate. This means each of the Biden Administration vaccine mandates are currently halted by various courts across the country.
In October, following President Biden’s mandates that were handed down in September, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning decided that all of the state’s public universities must require faculty and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The motion was approved by a vote of 9-3. That vote was a change from their earlier decision not to make vaccination a prerequisite of employment at the state’s public universities just weeks earlier.
The IHL mandate did not require students to be vaccinated.
IHL’s vaccine deadline was today, December 8, 2021.
In response to the stay issued by the federal court, Ole Miss released a statement today from Chancellor Glenn Boyce saying the IHL Board of Trustees 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,” Boyce wrote, adding however, “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.”
Boyce says as courts make their rulings, the situation at Ole Miss could change.
“If the mandate is reinstated by a court, we will adjust our efforts accordingly,” he concludes.
Y’all Politics has requested updates from other Mississippi universities and will update this story as those responses are received.
Nationally, University Business has published a comprehensive listing of colleges and universities in each each that have implemented COVID vaccine requirements for faculty and students. Click here to see which institutions had implemented the requirement prior to the latest court order staying the mandates.
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State has released the following statement, in part, following the court ordered stay to President Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate:
“Effective immediately, Mississippi State University employees are no longer required to upload proof of vaccination or request an exemption. Today, a federal district court in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction to prevent the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors which was included in President Biden’s Executive Order 14042. The IHL Board’s Directive passed on October 25, 2021, which required employees to comply with the federal contractor vaccine mandate, specifically stated that it would be stayed or revoked if the federal vaccine mandate was stayed or revoked. Accordingly, the Board Directive is no longer in effect and there is currently no longer a requirement or a deadline by which employees must be vaccinated or request an exemption.
“MSU will let you know as soon as possible if the federal contractor vaccine mandate is reinstated or if there is any further change regarding a vaccine mandate which impacts university employees. The employee vaccination upload portal will remain open. Employees are encouraged to upload their proof of vaccination for internal purposes, but there is no requirement to do so.”
“Per the recent injunction issued to halt enforcement of the vaccine requirement for federal contractors that was included in Executive Order 14042, USM employees are no longer required to submit proof of vaccination or request an exemption at this time. Depending on the outcome of related court cases, it is possible that this information will be required again in the future. The vaccination submission portal will remain available through University HR’s website if employees choose to upload proof of vaccination.”