Hamline students and employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the start of the 2021 fall semester.
The St. Paul institution made the announcement Thursday, with President Fayneese Miller, PhD, writing: "We want, and need, to be together as a community. We value a sense of community at Hamline and all that entails, but to return to what we value and who we are, mandating a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary."
The university put an Aug. 15, 2021 deadline on its requirement, though noted it will allow recognized exemptions or extensions in some cases.
Hamline University is the latest higher education system to announce its COVID-19 policy for the fall semester.
The University of Minnesota system in June said it will not require students, faculty or staff to have gotten a COVID vaccination, describing it as a "complex and personal issue."
Here's a look at some other colleges and universities, as of July 16, 2021:
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law — Vaccinations required for anyone on campus
- University of St. Thomas — No vaccination required, but vaccinated individuals qualify for incentives
- College of St. Scholastica — Not required but "strongly recommended"
- Minnesota State universities and colleges — Not required but encouraged
- St. Catherine University — COVID vaccine required
- Augsburg University — Not mandated
- St. Cloud State — Encouraging, but not requiring, vaccination
Miller, in making the decision for Hamline University, cited the recommendation that higher education institutions reach an 85% vaccination rate to return to "normal." While more than 90% of Hamline faculty and staff are full vaccinated, Miller said just 68% of students have received at least one vaccine.
"The combined percentage puts us below the recommended percentage necessary and negatively impacts our ability to return to those activities and expectations that define the overall educational experience at Hamline," she wrote. "Few things are more important than the overall experience of our students."
The state's COVID-19 vaccine dashboard shows just over half of all 18- to 49-year-olds in the state (54%) have completed a COVID vaccination series.