October 27, 2021

Message from Dean Lang – Vaccination Mandate

To: Liberal Arts Faculty and Staff
From: Clarence Lang

Dear Colleagues:

I hope this critically important message finds you well.

As you already know, Penn State has announced plans for bringing the University in compliance with the federal order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal employees, contractors, and subcontractors. As a result, all University Park employees must submit proof they are fully vaccinated by December 8.  Faculty and instructors who are unsure if they have submitted proof of vaccination can check their status on the University’s Salesforce Health Cloud.  And, those who have not yet uploaded their status and/or proof of vaccination can now upload their proof of vaccination online and are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. This vaccination mandate applies to full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and tech workers (including new employees and those working remotely), as well as undergraduate and graduate students who are supported through part-time employment and assistantships. Neither regular COVID testing, nor an antibody test, will be a substitute for​, or ​an alternative to​, the requirement for full vaccination. ​Please note, as well, that the University’s masking mandate in all indoor campus spaces, and on University conveyances, remains in force.  

Those who already have uploaded an image of their vaccination card to the University’s Salesforce Health Cloud do not need to do anything further at this time; the same applies to student workers and graduate assistants who uploaded images of their vaccination cards to myUHS. Those who may have lost their vaccination cards should visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website for information about how to recover evidence, while those who received their vaccination out of state and lost their cards should contact their local vaccine provider or state health department. If individuals were vaccinated outside the United States, their vaccine might qualify if it was approved by the World Health Organization.    

In the meantime, the University has established a process for religious exemptions to this vaccine mandate, which will be vetted by the Office of Affirmative Action; the deadline to file a request for this exemption is this Friday, October 29. Medical exemptions will be determined by Penn State Occupational Medicine through a protocol that has not yet been announced. While no formal guidance yet exists about what will happen if University Park employees fail to comply with this mandate, we know that disciplinary processes already exist for failure to adhere to University requirements, up to an including termination of employment. 

Please continue to closely monitor Penn State Today, as well as university and college email announcements, for further information on the vaccine mandate.  

Thank you for your attention to these extremely timely matters.