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USM developing plan to comply with federal vaccine mandate

The deadline for university faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated is Dec. 8. The deadline...
The deadline for university faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated is Dec. 8. The deadline for any faculty or staff member to apply for an exemption is Nov. 19.(Photo source: Southern Miss)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:09 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi said it is working on a plan to comply with the vaccine mandate for Mississippi university employees.

This comes after the State Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees voted 9-3 to mandate vaccines on Monday following the Biden administration’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors and subcontractors.

USM President Rodney Bennett released a message to employees Tuesday saying the university is a covered federal contractor and must comply with the president’s executive order and the IHL Board’s subsequent directive, which includes a vaccination requirement for all employees unless the employee qualifies for a legal, medical or religious exception.

“We are working to develop and implement processes to comply with the Executive Order’s requirements. However, the deadline included in the Executive Order is fast approaching. There could be potential impacts to your employment status with the University if you are not vaccinated in time, and you do not qualify for a legal, medical, or religious exception,” Bennett said.

The deadline for university faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated is Dec. 8. The deadline for any faculty or staff member to apply for an exemption is Nov. 19.

“Please take this Executive Order seriously. Failure to comply may result in some adverse impact on your employment, up to and including separation from the University,” Bennett’s message said.

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