Sands speaks to the media during the opening of a vaccine clinic on campus
Credit: David Petkiewicz |
President Sands speaks during the opening of a vaccine clinic on campus.

CSU could miss the Oct. 19 deadline for its COVID update

Cleveland State Provost Laura Bloomberg told the CSU Faculty Senate an ongoing survey could delay an update of the administration's plans for managing COVID-19 on campus. The administration and Senate remain at odds over a possible vaccine mandate.

CSU Provost and Chief Academic officer Laura Bloomberg told the faculty senate that despite setting the date of Oct. 19 for a decision on a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, data from an ongoing survey might not be available in time.

“We said in a message in the beginning of this campaign effort that we would look at the impact of it. We set the date for Oct. 19. I don’t know if we will have our survey data then, but we are monitoring that and we said we would regroup if we need to and that is still true,” Bloomberg said.

The provost was speaking on Oct. 6 at the second faculty meeting of the fall semester. At its first meeting of the semester, the Faculty Senate voted for a vaccine mandate, putting it at odds with the administration which is pursuing a peer-to-peer education campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated. The message to the faculty senate at its latest meeting was that little progress has been made on a decision whether to implement a vaccine mandate for all students and staff on campus. 

CSU administration continues to promote their awareness campaign, “Knowledge is Contagious” as a solution to ongoing vaccine hesitancy on campus, in spite of local universities' ongoing use of vaccine mandates.   

During the meeting University President Harlan Sands and Bloomberg both expressed concerns on House Bill 435 or the “COVID-19 Fairness Act,” which would prohibit employers from being able to mandate a COVID vaccine. Sands suggested that H.B. 435 would limit the ability of universities to act independently.

President Sands also highlighted House Bill 327, which would prohibit teaching, advocating or promoting divisive concepts in schools that receive state funds.

“As somebody who spent my whole career in higher education, if we can't talk about divisive concepts, I’m not sure if we could teach many of the things we teach,” Sands said.

Currently H.B. 327 is in committee before being sent to the House for possible approval.