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What professors think of UC's new vaccine mandate

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 19:58:17-04

The University of Cincinnati’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate had professors buzzing by Wednesday afternoon. Eighty-four percent asked for it, according to a poll conducted by the faculty senate.

Even more — 90% — wanted immediate action of any kind.

The message, according to senate chair Greg Loving: “It’s just, ‘If we’re going to do this, let’s get it done.’”

He expects blowback from some professors, including those without tenure who may be ready to quit, and he knows that will create new challenges as the university deals with high enrollment.

But Mike Morgan, who teaches a “Hops and History” class about local brewing culture, said he welcomes the new requirement. His class involves taste-tests. Masks aren’t always an option.

“It’s a confined space over a three-hour period of time, and people aren’t masked for that perod of time,” he said. “That’s a great way to transmit COVID.”

With Hamilton County seeing 252 new cases and counting each day, health commissioner Greg Kesterman said he supports moves by UC, Ohio, Xavier and Miami universities requiring students, staff and professors to get vaccinated.

“We now have a vaccine that is FDA-approved, which has been one of the excuses for people not to get vaccinated,” he said. “And so I think over time folks will understand the science and the effectiveness of the vaccine and make the right decision."