Blake Wood
Publish Date

The following message was sent by University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen to students, faculty and staff on June 21, 2021:

To continue our commitment to collective safety, the University of Illinois System will require that all students receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they plan to be on campus for fall semester 2021. This requirement is consistent with our own scientific modeling of the risks associated with the spread of the virus and its variants. It is also consistent with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s goals.

We recognize that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. That is why it is so important that those of us who can get vaccinated do so. Those who are not vaccinated will need to follow campus-specific guidelines and any exemption protocols issued by each university. Individuals who plan to work or study remotely are exempted from these requirements.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, students have helped make the University of Illinois System a model for the nation – a model of community, a model of safety and a model of pulling together for the common good.  We look forward to their help in setting the standard again this fall, a semester that will restore most in-person instruction and many of the other traditional rhythms of campus life that COVID interrupted last year. Widespread vaccinations will help us do that.  

Each university will follow up with additional guidance on vaccination information as well as other safety measures planned for fall. We also will continue to monitor our policies closely, making adjustments as appropriate based on advances in scientific understanding and updated guidance from public health authorities.

Guidelines for faculty and staff are still being developed and will be shared later this summer.

Sincerely, Tim

University of Illinois Springfield Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney followed the System’s announcement with this message to students, faculty and staff:

Today, the University of Illinois System announced it will require that all students receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they plan to be on campus for the Fall 2021 semester.

UIS enthusiastically supports the University of Illinois System’s expectations for Fall 2021. Specific guidance pertaining to UIS will be released next week following consultation with our various campus stakeholders. All UIS students who are able to take the vaccine yet have not done so should make plans to begin the vaccination process. Students should be fully vaccinated (14 days after completion of a vaccination series) prior to the beginning of the fall semester. UIS will accept vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

As you are well aware, UIS has led higher education in our commitment to the health and safety of our students throughout the pandemic. We firmly believe that being United in Safety now means that those of us who can become vaccinated should. Our guidelines will continue to embrace and support each student to be academically successful, and we will continue to be flexible, innovative and compassionate.

United in Safety,


Karen M. Whitney, Ph.D.

Interim Chancellor

University of Illinois Springfield