UO President Michael Schill and Provost Patrick Phillips sent the following message to the campus community on 8/17/21. The version below contains corrected percentages of student and faculty vaccination submissions for the time the letter was sent. For most current rates, see the vaccination dashboard.
August 17, 2021
Dear University of Oregon community members,
It is our fervent belief that it is only through vaccinations that our nation and our university will find a way out of the pandemic. Although vaccines may not eliminate COVID-19 entirely from our campus, if we can achieve a high enough rate of vaccination among our students, staff, and faculty, we can better protect the health and well being of the members of our community and ultimately drive down the transmission rate of the disease. It is for that reason that on May 10, we announced a vaccination requirement for the University of Oregon.
Under state and federal law we were required to make it possible for people to claim an exemption based upon three criteria. Most people on campus have until September to let us know their vaccination status, but the early signs are very, very promising. Based upon folks who have reported to us thus far, the vast majority of our community is coming together to protect each other.
The first vaccine deadline was last Friday, August 13, for the School of Law’s faculty and staff. We are thrilled to report that of the 93.6 percent of the law school community who met the deadline for reporting, 97.6 percent report that they have been vaccinated.
With respect to the entire campus, thus far 45 percent of our students have reported their vaccination status. Of these students who have reported, 96.4 percent have been vaccinated. Similarly, 67 percent of our faculty and staff have told us whether they have been vaccinated. Over 96 percent have answered in the affirmative.
There is no guarantee that this extraordinarily high level of vaccination will persist as the remaining members of the UO community report their status. But we are very happy with the early results.
We know that these figures are of great interest to many of you. Our decision making throughout the pandemic has been driven by the science, and understanding community vaccination rates is a critical component of this. From the beginning of the COVID-19 nightmare we did everything we could to be as transparent as possible and we are committed to that principle going forward. Therefore, we created a dashboard tracking our vaccination rates across campus. The dashboard will be updated every week.
We would like to close by thanking everyone for your commitment to protecting not just yourselves, but for protecting our entire community. Toward that end, please encourage your friends and your co-workers to get vaccinated.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Patrick C. Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President