U-M outlines accountability measures for COVID-19 vaccine policy


University of Michigan employees and students who do not comply with the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policy will be subject to a number of administrative interventions and disciplinary actions, university officials announced this week.

The measures for faculty and staff, which will take effect after the Aug. 30 deadline for submitting vaccination information, include unpaid disciplinary layoffs, ineligibility for future merit increases and possible dismissal for those who continually neglect to follow the policy.

Employees on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are subject to the disciplinary actions. Michigan Medicine is following a separate process that includes measures up to and including dismissal.

“We continue to face a serious threat to our mission and the safety and health of our community,” said Rich Holcomb, associate vice president for human resources. “It is absolutely essential that everyone does their part to ensure we minimize the spread of COVID-19 and have a successful academic year.”

According to the U-M COVID-19 vaccination policy announced last month, students, faculty and staff on all three campuses are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and must submit their vaccination information before the start of the fall term. Individuals can apply for medical or religious exemptions to the requirement and, if approved, must complete mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing.

About 91 percent of students, 87 percent of faculty and 72 percent of staff on the Ann Arbor campus have self-reported and been verified as being fully vaccinated as of Aug. 24.

On Aug. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older. University officials said they hoped this action motivates unvaccinated individuals in the U-M community who were hesitant about the vaccine to now get vaccinated.

Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases resulting from the more infectious delta variant, the university has required everyone — regardless of vaccination status — to wear face coverings indoors. The policy will be re-evaluated soon after the start of the fall term.

Faculty and staff policy enforcement

Employees on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses who do not comply with the university’s vaccination policy and have not been granted an exemption or temporary postponement received an email the week of Aug. 16 reminding them of the deadline.

Beginning Aug. 30, the non-complaint employees will be subject to disciplinary action, which will be carried out using a two-step process at the unit level. The first step will focus on further education about the policy and the vaccine, and will include a verbal warning. 

If after seven days the employee has not initiated the process to become vaccinated, the second step includes a written warning, ineligibility for next year’s merit increase and possible additional disciplinary actions. This applies to both faculty and staff.

Additionally, staff members will be put on a two-day unpaid disciplinary layoff and face restricted access to funds for professional development and university travel. Faculty will have access to professional development and discretionary funds restricted and may have sabbaticals delayed or become ineligible for university honorific recognition.

All employees not in compliance will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing until they are fully vaccinated. Employees who have initiated an exemption or temporary postponement request, or who are awaiting verification of vaccine status, will be considered in compliance while their information is under review, but may be subject to weekly testing.

All employees, regardless of vaccination status, must follow the U-M face-covering policy and perform daily symptom checks using the ResponsiBLUE app.

Unvaccinated employees who do not comply with face-covering rules, weekly testing and daily symptom checking could be subject to further discipline, including discharge. Bargained-for employees should refer to their collective bargaining agreements.

Accountability measures for students

Students who are not fully vaccinated by Aug. 30 will be required to get tested weekly for COVID-19 until they are fully vaccinated.

Students who have not reported their vaccination or requested an exemption or temporary postponement by Aug. 30 will have an administrative hold placed on their accounts and could be subject to other accountability measures. Students whose exemption or postponement was rejected and who have not gotten vaccinated also will be subject to an administrative hold.

Those with a pending exemption or postponement request, or who are awaiting verification of vaccine status, will not have a hold placed on their account.

The hold prevents a non-compliant student from adding or dropping classes, registering for the winter term and accessing transcripts. The measure also will apply to unvaccinated students who comply with weekly testing requirements.

In a message to students this week, Martino Harmon, vice president for student life, said the university will follow up directly with students who do not share vaccination information with the university by the deadline and with students who are not testing weekly as required.

“But before this happens, we encourage you to hold yourself accountable as a Michigan Wolverine,” Harmon said. “Staying compliant with university policies is simple: Get vaccinated or, if you have an approved exemption or temporary postponement, get tested weekly at a campus testing site.”



  1. David Blair
    on August 25, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    All, please keep in mind that the Pfizer medical product is still under the EUA guidelines and is not approved as a vaccine. The EUA was just extended for this product.
    The product called Comirnaty has not even been manufactured yet.
    The FDA sent two letters to Pfizer regarding these similar products to obscure the mandate narratives.

  2. Kimberly Wellman
    on August 25, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    What does the weekly testing entail? As the PCR test does not measure accurate results with many false positives, what type of testing will be done ?

  3. Emily Marron
    on August 26, 2021 at 11:53 am

    I would like to second that. What type of test is being done since PCR test are inaccurate and COVID itself has never been isolated. I will not be requiring vaccine education as as my hesitancy to receive the vaccine is not due to a lack of education. It is in fact the opposite. Thank you

    • Tully Svekric
      on August 31, 2021 at 6:25 pm

      Which PCR tests are inaccurate? “PCR” isn’t one type of test, it is a broad method for a types of testing with specific tests being more accurate than others for specific applications.

      “COVID itself has never been isolated” This is blatantly false. The COVID virus was first isolated and its genome was sequenced in early January 2020.

      I think your hesitancy is a product of disinformation being purposefully spread, not from you being educated on the subject.

      It’s disheartening to see some of my own colleagues on this site spreading blatantly false information too. We’re a research institution – one that developed the first flu vaccine. We should be better than this.

  4. Yi-Li Wu
    on August 26, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    David, your comments lead me to believe you have read the news reports incorrectly. In particular, I believe you have confused a couple of points:

    (1) The FDA *did* officially approve the Pfizer vaccine for people aged 16 and above. Please see the press release from the FDA, here. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine

    (2) That vaccine previously did not have a name. It now has a brand name, called Comirnarty, and henceforth will be marketed as such.

    (3) The FDA is still awaiting scientific results on the use of the vaccine in people 12-15 years old. While waiting, it agreed to extend the EUA that allows the vaccine to be used in people 12-15 years old, and it may also be used as a booster (third shot) in immunocompromised people. The vaccine is otherwise *approved* for use in anyone 16 years and older.

    Here is the opening paragraph from the FDA’s press release of August 23, which makes all these points crystal clear:

    Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

    For people who want more information, here is the page with links to the approval letters: https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/comirnaty

    Finally, I note that there are very few UM students, staff, and faculty who are younger than 16 years old. Since the FDA has APPROVED the vaccine for people 16 and up, the EUA (for people under 16) is not generally pertinent to UM’s vaccine mandate for students, staff, and faculty.

    • David Blair
      on August 26, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      I respectfully disagree and stick with my previous statement regarding the two letters.
      Dr Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA technology also agrees with that assessment.
      Also an EUA is an EUA. It doesn’t discriminate age.

  5. Yi-Li Wu
    on August 27, 2021 at 8:14 am

    David Blair, you are spreading misinformation.
    (1)The FDA approved the vaccine. This is a fact.
    (2) Robert Malone also acknowledges this fact. What he disagrees with is he doesn’t think the FDA should have approved it at all.
    (3) Robert Malone claims that he invented the mRNA technology but this is a self-promoting distortion. Scientific and technological discoveries like this one involve many people. Many people worked on developing mRNA technology.
    (4) Robert Malone is, at best, a guy with a major grudge against the scientific establishment. At worst, he is a deliberate spreader of disinformation. And he is a star in anti-vax, conspiracy theory circles. He is a board member of TrialSite News, which is pushing the livestock dewormer Ivermectin as a COVID treatment and preventative even though there is no evidence that it has any effect.

    • David Blair
      on August 27, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      The FDA and Pfizer in my opinion are co-equal agents providing each other support for their interests.
      There are several million doses of the EUA approved product yet to be distributed. I’m sure they’re not going to dump these out. Are the they going to slap a new label on them?
      These original Lot numbers are covered under the EUA which avoids liability exposure to Pfizer. This is covered in the first letter and the FDA brings this point up.

      The 2nd letter is describing approval of Cormirnaty which to my knowledge has not been manufactured yet due to the existing supply of the original product. Is the new product identical to the EUA version or similar? This approval comes with the full weight of liability.
      So, either Pfizer will either repackage the original version of the mRNA product as Cormirnaty which may expose them to several thousand cases of injury liability from day one or run out the existing Lot under the EUA. That is to be seen.
      Clearly neither product has fulfilled the long term studies on heart and pregnancy issues or the potential ADE produced virus mutation which are common with coronaviruses. Why is that? Why are there elevated D-Dimer levels in a high percentage of patients that were injected by the product? Why has nobody brought up the issue that nowhere in the product description is there a claim of the ability to halt viral transmission? If that is the case everybody should be tested with that bs PCR test.
      What about people that have been infected by the Wuhan bioweapon virus, suffered and recovered?
      Natural immunity is given no weight. Personally, I will trust God and the magnificent design of the human body over anything man comes up with.
      Personal observations;
      I take exception to your misinformation comment. Anybody should be free to read for themselves any published medical information regarding something as personal as the fallout from a bioweapon attack and voice their personal observations on what they read and on the constant barrage of the “experts” flip flopping on the “science”. In 1938 book burning was the mode of the day to suppress free speech. Now we relive 1938 today in digital censorship, forced compliance and social labeling. This must be bringing back memories the good ol days to some of the enlightened elitist.

      The truth is “vaccines” will never catch up to the antigenetic drift of this virus.
      You would have had to jab every person on this planet concurrently to have a chance to stop this virus. Therapeutics are the answer. Treat the disease not the virus.

      An observation and my opinion;

      You seem to have an issue with medical professionals related to the field of mRNA technology and frontline doctors that have tried alternative therapeutics here and abroad. Fortunately I have the ability to think for myself, to investigate work done by our colleagues. Dr. Malone is not on an island by himself on these concerns with mRNA technology and therapeutics. Your personal opinion of his motivations are just that, opinions. I’m free take or leave them.
      There are several well written papers on real world observations from patient responses to well know decades long prescribed products that intervene in the disease progression and recovery. Ivermectin, HDQ, Pepcid….

      In recent posts I have attempted to be upfront to whomever would like to read full uncensored information from people that are in the steerage of the covid ship.
      What grinds my gears is the censorship of these sources of information, much of which comes from groups of well respected physicians, researchers and caregivers. You would think such a university as Michigan would welcome this collaboration. Leaders and the Best? At what? Politics? Agendas?

      Oh, have we flattened the curve yet?

  6. David Blair
    on August 27, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Please visit medRxiv.org
    for info on just released Israeli study on natural immunity and the “delta” mutation.

    • Robert Lintner
      on September 3, 2021 at 2:22 pm

      The sad part is David is the fact that the ones responding to your comments have no idea about whats really going on they simply just listen to what they are told by the news, no one wants to question it because the university is getting kickbacks from the governors office…All these people say your spreading false information but all I see is them linking articles and interpreting it the way THEY are told…We work with sheep

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