University of Illinois System President Timothy L. Killeen sent the following email to UIS faculty and staff on July 21, 2021.
As part of our ongoing commitment to the safety of our campuses and the communities around them, the University of Illinois System will require that all faculty and staff be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the beginning of the fall semester of 2021. For employees covered by a union contract, guidance will be implemented at the universities through the applicable collective bargaining processes.
This vaccine requirement follows similar guidance provided to our students in June and is consistent with our own scientific modeling of the risks associated with the spread of the virus and its variants, as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health’s guidance and goals.
We recognize that some individuals are not able to 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 or system-office guidelines and any exemption protocols issued by each university, the U of I Hospital and clinics, or the System Offices.
Throughout the pandemic, we have not compromised the education, student experience and groundbreaking research that make the U of I System truly extraordinary. You, along with our students, have been the authors of that success, helping make the system a model for collective effort in pursuit of the common good.
Now we look forward to your help in setting a new standard this fall, a semester in which we will restore most in-person instruction and many of the other traditional rhythms of campus life. This will not be possible without widespread vaccinations.
Each of our universities will follow up with additional guidance on vaccinations and other safety measures planned for the fall. We will also continue to monitor our policies closely, adjusting where appropriate based on advances in scientific understanding and updated guidance from public health authorities.