UMass plans to require that students be vaccinated by the fall semester

All faculty and staff are ‘strongly encouraged and recommended’ to get vaccinated before returning in the fall


Ana Pietrewicz/Daily Collegian

By Sophia Gardner, Assistant News Editor

The University of Massachusetts announced that it will require all undergraduate and graduate students who plan to take on-campus classes, conduct research on-campus or access campus resources to be fully vaccinated before the beginning of the fall semester, according to official sources.

UMass announced this requirement in an email from Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy on Thursday. The email also stated that the vaccine requirement will be “on the basis of expected additional state, federal and legal guidance and vaccine availability,” and will be subject to religious and disability accommodations.

This requirement is a result of UMass’ plan “have fall 2021 be as close to pre-pandemic times as possible,” which includes in-person classes, full occupancy in residence halls and the resumption of in-person events.

The email also said that all faculty and staff who are currently working remotely should expect to transition to in-person work for the fall semester: “for this fall all employees will be considered on-site.” All faculty and staff are “strongly encouraged and recommended” to get vaccinated before returning in the fall.

The email also shared the Fall Planning Group’s report, which details their recommendations for the upcoming semester. The report recommends that the University adapt the Campus Health Hub’s green check mark system to prove that students have been vaccinated. The green check marks are currently used for students to prove that they have been tested twice per week before entering some UMass facilities.

The University plans to help fund the transition back to in-person activities with the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which comes from the federal government’s COVID-relief American Rescue Plan. The University is expecting to get a HEERF III funding “over the next few months,” which should provide them with $25.37 million in student aid and $24.56 million in institutional aid. The University has already received their HEERF II funding.

UMass also touched on their financial losses during the pandemic, including a “$9 million budget deficit resulting from the loss of FY21 revenue.”


Sophia Gardner can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @sophieegardnerr.