The university has suspended its efforts to vaccinate university employees. The announcement comes as a result of a nationwide injunction from a federal court in Georgia that prohibits the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. The move was announced by Chancellor Glenn Boyce in an email shortly before noon today.
Previously, the Institutions of Higher Learning board voted to require all faculty, professional staff, support staff and student workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with exceptions. The vote amended the board’s previous directive that barred institutions governed by IHL from instating a vaccine mandate.
This decision was a result of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14042, which aimed to ensure adequate COVID-19 safety protocols for federal contractors. This is the executive order that was stayed by Judge Stan Baker, resulting in the suspension of UM’s vaccine mandate efforts.
In the email, Chancellor Boyce thanked those who have been vaccinated and praised university employees for submitting vaccination records or requesting accommodation. He also pointed to the volatility of the situation, and the potential that exists for the mandate to be reinstated. The chancellor closed his email with an encouragement to the university community to get vaccinated, despite the suspension of the mandate.
“We will continue to monitor any additional developments in the law, including any appeal of the Georgia decision and other court cases related to the vaccination mandate,” Boyce said. “As courts make their rulings, this situation could change. If the mandate is reinstated by a court, we will adjust our efforts accordingly.”
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves was a very vocal opponent of the vaccine mandate, vowing from it’s instatement to do whatever he could to overturn it. Reeves celebrated the injunction on Twitter yesterday.
“Today, the courts put a nationwide injunction on Biden’s unconstitutional federal contractor mandate. That means all three of his unlawful mandates have been STOPPED in their tracks,” Reeves said. “Big win for liberty. Today, there are NO federal government vaccine mandates for MS workers.”