Faculty survey supports mandatory COVID-19 vaccination at U-M


A majority of faculty members who answered a survey about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination at the University of Michigan believe the vaccine should be required for all students, faculty and staff, with limited medical and religious exemptions.

The survey results also showed most respondents believe that if U-M does not mandate vaccination, instructors should be able to opt out of in-person instruction in the fall.

Currently, U-M requires vaccination only for students planning to live in residence halls and other university housing.

“The fact that an overwhelming majority of our faculty who responded believe that vaccine mandates are necessary to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and community, that’s a great message,” said Faculty Senate Chair Allen Liu, who supports a vaccine mandate. Liu is an associate professor of mechanical engineering, of biomedical engineering, and of biophysics.

Liu sent the survey last week to members of the Faculty Senate — all professorial faculty, librarians, full-time research faculty, executive officers and deans — as well as clinical faculty and lecturers on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses.

 Among the Faculty Senate, 1,484 out of 4,297 members responded, with 1,305 (89.1 percent) saying they support making vaccinations mandatory for students, faculty and staff. Among clinical faculty, 487 out of 2,024 clinical faculty members responded, with 418 (88 percent) saying they support a mandate. Among lecturers, 399 out of 1,169 responded, with 331 (85.1 percent) favoring a vaccine requirement.

Asked if instructors should be able to opt out of in-person teaching if there is no vaccine mandate, 76 percent of Faculty Senate members who responded, or 1,054, said yes. Among clinical faculty, 67.3 percent, or 288, said yes. For lecturers, 89.5 percent, or 333, favored the opt-out provision.

Liu said he shared the survey results with President Mark Schlissel, Provost Susan Collins and Board of Regents Chair Jordan Acker. Liu said Schlissel thanked him and said he and members of his team are continuing to consider other possible mandates.

U-M officials have been strongly encouraging students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated and voluntarily report their vaccine status to the university.

“We appreciate our faculty governance colleagues for engaging in this important issue for our community,” university spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen said. “While there are many complex factors as we consider any changes to our current approachwe know that the approved COVID-19 vaccines are highly safe and effective. We ask our faculty and staff to get vaccinated and report their vaccination status to help our campus stay safe and return to the activities we all enjoy.”

In an email sharing the survey results with faculty members, Liu also strongly encouraged them to report their vaccination status via Wolverine Access.

This is not the first time faculty members have expressed support for a vaccine mandate. In April, members of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs and the Senate Assembly endorsed a resolution encouraging the administration to mandate vaccines with limited legally mandated exceptions.

SACUA is the executive arm of the university’s central faculty governance system, which includes the Senate Assembly and the Faculty Senate. The Senate Assembly consists of 74 elected faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

Liu said he believes making the vaccine mandatory with limited exceptions is the best way to keep people safe and allow the university to return to a more normal in-person semester.

“In my opinion, I think vaccination is currently the most effective tool for us to come back from the pandemic,” Liu said, noting that vaccines weren’t yet available last year at this time. “Now that we have this great tool under our belts, we have to use it to our advantage.”



  1. Brigette Myers
    on July 21, 2021 at 9:38 am

    It is incomprehensible to me that you can force someone to be injected with an experimental product. I truly hope this is not implemented. If I was a student and this was a requirement I would choose another school. I hope the admissions drop because of this so that the Administration can see that not everyone is okay with being injected with an experiment still in process!

  2. Christine Siegel
    on July 21, 2021 at 11:17 am

    That an institution led by an immunologist has not mandated vaccines for health care providers is shocking.

    No child under 12 in the U-M Children’s Hospital is eligible to be vaccinated. If I were a parent of a sick child, I would insist that anyone treating my child must be vaccinated.

    Additionally, many adult patients may be immunocompromised due to their treatment or disease. Unvaccinated medical staff are endangering these individuals for whom the vaccine is not effective.

    At this point the vaccine has been administered to hundreds of millions of people and is proven safe and effective. By January, the vaccines will receive FDA approval. It’s time to implement a mandate – if the University doesn’t have the courage to require vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff immediately — then at least it should be mandatory for the medical system now. And for everyone else following FDA approval.

  3. Gregg Sobocinski
    on July 21, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Vaccines are NOT experimental. Routine vaccination has been successful for disease control for over 70 years! Rapid development of COVID vaccines does not make them experimental, but reflects upon facilities throwing most of their resources at a single product. The main vaccine variable to consider is the efficacy toward rapidly evolving virus variants. I’m not sure what other scientifically viable concerns people have.

    Long-term side effects from vaccines have been debunked as false time and time again.

  4. Carrie Ashton
    on July 21, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Faculty Senate: 2,813 of 4297 didn’t respond.
    Clinical faculty: 1537 of 2024 didn’t respond.
    Lecturers: 770 of 1169 didn’t respond.

    I hope you will not be basing a decision to mandate an experimental medical procedure on these numbers. The idea that you are even considering it is highly disturbing. I’ve been a dedicated employee since 1996 and do not wish to leave. However, I will not accept being a research subject in order to keep my job.

  5. Michelle Ormanian
    on July 21, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Percentages based on the Number of Members

    Vaccine Mandate:
    Among the Faculty Senate, 1,305 out of 4,297 (30 percent) members support making vaccinations mandatory for students, faculty, and staff.
    Among the Clinical faculty, 418 out of 2,024 (21 percent) members support making vaccinations mandatory for students, faculty, and staff.
    Among Lecturers, 331 out of 1,169 responded (28 percent)members support making vaccinations mandatory for students, faculty, and staff.

    Opt-out of In-person teaching:
    Among the Faculty Senate, 1,054 out of 4,297 (25 percent) members support opting out of in-person teaching if there is no vaccine mandate.
    Among the Clinical faculty, 288 out of 2,024 (14 percent) members support opting out of in-person teaching if there is no vaccine mandate.
    Among Lecturers, 333 out of 1,169 responded (28 percent)members support opting out of in-person teaching if there is no vaccine mandate.

  6. Viviane Cuenca
    on July 21, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    MRNA technology being used as a vaccine has never been done before, therefore by definition is experimental. Furthermore, Moderna has never introduced a vaccine to market and claims to “Recognizing the broad potential of mRNA science, we set out to create an mRNA technology platform that functions very much like an operating system on a computer. It is designed so that it can plug and play interchangeably with different programs. In our case, the “program” or “app” is our mRNA drug – the unique mRNA sequence that codes for a protein”. https://www.modernatx.com/mrna-technology/mrna-platform-enabling-drug-discovery-development
    Prior to this large scale experiment, there has been no safe vaccine developed for SARS-CoV infection and in fact, a recommendation for caution was given by the authors of this study: “Immunization with SARS coronavirus vaccines leads to pulmonary immunopathology on challenge with the SARS virus.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22536382/
    I recommend that prior to taking the shot yourself or recommending it to be given en-mass, you go on to search the passive (VAERS) and active (BEST and others) CDC/FDA surveillance tools to fully understand the impact of this coerced mandate. https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/safety-availability-biologics/covid-19-vaccine-safety-surveillance#BEST

  7. David Blair
    on July 22, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Please follow and read below;


    This injection cannot be mandated for school attendance by the State or mandated for anyone as long as it is under Emergency Use Authorization.

    • Christine Siegel
      on July 22, 2021 at 10:07 am

      I’m not a lawyer…but as I read it, individuals only need to be informed as to the consequences of refusing the vaccine. Which, in this case, would be termination.

      “Appropriate conditions designed to ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered are informed…of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product, of the consequences, if any, of refusing administration of the product, and of the alternatives to the product that are available and of their benefits and risks.”

      So far, challenges to vaccine mandates by hospitals in Houston and Indiana University – have been upheld by federal judges.

      FDA is now saying that approval will be coming by September. Until then, if you choose not to be vaccinated, please stay away from children and sick people, wear a mask and socially distance.

  8. Brigette Myers
    on July 26, 2021 at 10:31 am

    The Covid vaccine is experimental and has not been approved by the FDA it is only approved for emergency use. Staff who are not involved with others (working remotely) should not be forced to be injected. There are way too many adverse events associated with this vaccine. Try reading to be a bit more informed about the Covid vaccine. I am not against vaccines just this one that has been pushed down everyone’s throat! https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/cdc-vaers-injuries-400000-following-covid-vaccines/

    • Gregg Sobocinski
      on July 26, 2021 at 11:34 am

      You are correct that the mRNA vaccines are still listed as ‘experimental’. It is also true that mRNA vaccines are over 10 years old, but never went to market because they are more expensive than existing technologies available at the time. Also keep in mind that vaccines are not like a daily-dose medicine, which can have long-term side-effects. Your body responds to them and eliminates them as part of the natural process.

      I can see why some people might be concerned that businesses are not always looking out for our best interest. That is why the FDA exists. I also believe that COVID is way more experimental and dangerous than any potential risks for the mRNA vaccines.

      Personal beliefs may vary, but we really must respect the science over the “entertainment news industry”, which makes tons of money off of our paranoia.

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