Universities raise awareness and offer assistance to 1,100 students who must come into full compliance with vaccination and testing requirements in the month of October to avoid being withdrawn from courses without a refund
Orono, Maine — The University of Maine System’s COVID compliance campaign is hitting the final stage with stepped-up outreach and support to help students who still need to take steps to meet university vaccination and testing requirements. The campaign includes targeted text messaging, outreach phone calls, and alerts on university portals. Holds have also been placed on hundreds of student accounts preventing registration for new courses until individuals come into compliance.
Students have until Oct. 15 to verify their fully vaccinated status or receive a qualified exemption that requires participation in at least weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. Students who are not in compliance with these requirements face being withdrawn from their fall courses on Oct. 31 with no refund.
More than 23,700 UMS community members have uploaded their vaccination status with the university’s COVID-19 portal, representing nearly 86% of the UMS fall 2021 in-person population of students and employees. The vaccination rate among residential students living on university campuses is 97%.
There are currently 1,098 students who have yet to upload any vaccination information or request a qualifying exemption that requires regular testing. Outreach is also underway to connect with an additional 771 students who have verified a first shot and need to upload a record verifying that they are fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.
“Vaccination is our most important tool for staying together and keeping our communities safe this fall,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Nearly everyone has verified their status, but we have to help all of our students meet the science-based requirements we have established to protect our community from COVID-19.”
The University of Maine System also has a vaccination mandate that applies to employees that includes vaccination or participation in weekly testing. The mandate aligns with federal government requirements recently announced by the Biden Administration. Nearly 86% of full-time employees have verified their vaccination status and a memoranda of agreement on compliance has been reached with each of the UMS labor partners.
Chancellor Malloy appointed a vaccination planning and partnership task force in December led by University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy to begin preparing to utilize vaccination as a safety measure. When vaccination first became available in the spring, the University of Maine System universities launched an awareness and education campaign and hosted campus-based vaccination clinics to promote vaccination. The shot clock campaign was announced in July, awarding scholarships and in response to personalized support and outreach efforts at all of the universities.
About the University of Maine System
Established in 1968, the University of Maine System (UMS) unites six distinctive public universities, comprising 10 campuses and numerous centers, in the common purpose of providing quality higher education while delivering on its traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research, and public service.
In 2020 UMS became the first and only statewide enterprise of public higher education in the country to transition to a unified accreditation for the system. Much different than a merger or consolidation, unified accreditation is a new operating model for the University of Maine System that removes the primary barrier to inter-institutional collaboration.
A comprehensive public institution of higher education, UMS serves more than 30,000 students annually and is supported by the efforts of more than 2,000 full-time and part-time faculty, more than 3,000 regular full-time and part-time staff, and a complement of part-time temporary (adjunct) faculty.
Reaching more than 500,000 people annually through educational and cultural offerings, the University of Maine System also benefits from more than two-thirds of its alumni population residing within the state; more than 123,000 individuals.
The System consists of seven main campuses: The University of Maine (UMaine), including its regional campus the University of Maine at Machias (UMaine Machias); the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA); the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF); the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK), the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI); and the University of Southern Maine (USM). The System also includes a UMA campus in Bangor, USM campuses in Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn, the University of Maine School of Law, and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center.