By Corinne Murdock |
Arizona State University (ASU), University of Arizona (UArizona), and Northern Arizona University (NAU) will require their employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8. This latest development is due to the Biden Administration’s order for federal contractors and subcontractors to get vaccinated by the hard deadline of December 8. The universities’ mandates will also affect student workers.
The Arizona Board of Regents explained that the three universities have substantial federal contracts that necessitate compliance with the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate.
“The universities have hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts, funding critical research, employment and educational efforts,” stated spokesperson Julie Newberg. “We respect individual opinions regarding the vaccine and will include disability (including medical) and religious accommodations consistent with federal rules.”
UArizona President Dr. Robert Robbins reiterated the reality of their situation in an email to employees: the universities rely heavily on millions of dollars in contracts with the federal government.
“President Biden recently issued an Executive Order that requires institutions that contract with the federal government, such as the University of Arizona, to comply with guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force,” wrote Robbins. “The University has hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts, funding critical research, employment, and educational efforts, and already has received amended federal contracts that include this requirement.”
Governor Doug Ducey hasn’t issued any statements on the three universities’ mandates as of press time, though he has expressed ardent disapproval for both vaccine and masking mandates, as well as issued orders to curtail these mandates and approved legislation outlawing them.