Federal Order Requires COVID-19 Vaccination for University Employees at UA, UAB, UAH and Auburn University

University of Alabama System Campuses and Auburn University Notified Employees of Legal Obligation Imposed by President Biden’s Executive Order
Published: October 22, 2021 | Updated: November 02, 2021
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On Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14042, which has been the focus of guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. Through this order and guidance, the federal government is requiring all federal contractors and subcontractors to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, including those who work at a university with federal contracts.

As federal contractors, and like most higher education institutions, the University of Alabama System campuses – including The University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville – and Auburn University must comply with the Executive Order and accompanying guidance, unless that Executive Order is withdrawn or modified. Consequently, according to the provisions of the Executive Order at this time, the universities are obligated to ensure that employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8, 2021, unless they have an approved medical, disability, or religious exemption.

Because this vaccination requirement is mandated by the federal government, our institutions do not have flexibility in its application or enforcement. Failure to comply will place our universities in jeopardy of losing hundreds of millions of dollars received through federal contracts and awards, as well as thousands of jobs funded by those dollars. This outcome would severely impact our institutions’ teaching, research and service capabilities and could hamper economic development activity.

Understanding these serious ramifications, the University of Alabama System campuses and Auburn University notified employees today of the vaccination requirement mandated by the federal government. In continued collaboration with educational enterprises across the State, both institutions will closely monitor the Executive Order and guidance.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.