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Chancellor's Message

KU to implement employee vaccine mandate

Chancellor Doug Girod sent the following message to KU faculty, staff and affiliates on Oct. 22, 2021.


Last month, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring employees of institutions that contract with the federal government to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8.

Per this order, the University of Kansas will now require all KU employees to submit proof they are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.

Because of the scope of the federal order, this mandate applies to all KU employees – including student employees – on all campuses and in all KU affiliates and auxiliaries, unless an employee applies for and receives a religious or medical exemption. Employees who do not comply with the vaccine requirement are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment.

The determination that KU needs to comply with the federal order was made in consultation with federal and state partners, including the Kansas Board of Regents, which has provided formal guidance illustrating the necessity that the state’s three research universities comply with the federal order.

KU participates in millions of dollars in federal contracts that fund research, employment and educational efforts — all of which are at risk if we are not aligned with the executive order. For this reason, we cannot be flexible with employees who choose not to comply with the vaccine requirement.

Next steps

In the days ahead, we will share information on how employees can submit proof of vaccination through a secure upload process or apply for a religious or medical exemption through the applicable Human Resources office.

In the meantime, unvaccinated employees need to seek their first vaccine dose immediately. Per the federal order, employees must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. Because the full vaccination process can take up to six weeks, unvaccinated employees should plan to receive their first vaccine dose as soon as possible. (See the chart below for deadlines associated with each of the three FDA-approved vaccinations.)

Unvaccinated individuals are responsible to seek out vaccination opportunities. Vaccines are available at no charge at pharmacies and health clinics across the region. Employees may also look into available options near them at

I appreciate your attention to this matter as we work to comply with the federal mandate.



Douglas A. Girod

View this message on the Chancellor’s website.

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