April 27, 2021 COVID-19 Vaccines Required for Fall 2021

The following message was sent to the University of Portland community on April 27, 2021.

Dear University of Portland Community Members,

Approximately four months ago, the University of Portland established a COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force comprised of students, staff, and faculty and chaired by Dr. Casey Shillam, Dean of the School of Nursing. Among many other goals, the Task Force was asked to study whether UP community members should be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The Task Force took ample time to examine this issue closely. It considered important matters such as vaccine efficacy, equity in vaccine access, religious and/or medical exceptions to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and the impact that vaccination will have on the health and vibrancy of our campus community.

Ultimately, the Task Force concluded that widespread vaccination of students, staff, and faculty will advance the health of UP community members; promote the safety of our in-person, residential campus environment; and, contribute to the decline of the pandemic. The Task Force recommended that all UP community members be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. This recommendation was endorsed by the COVID-19 Steering Committee and approved by the President’s Leadership Cabinet.

Thus, we announce today that all University of Portland students, faculty, and staff will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Employees must submit proof of vaccination no later than August 1, 2021. Students must submit proof of vaccination no later than September 1, 2021. As with other vaccination requirements, medical and/or non-medical (e.g., religious) exemptions from this policy may be requested consistent with Oregon and federal law.

We announce this requirement well in advance of the compliance deadlines so that community members can make a plan to get vaccinated and consult their medical provider, if necessary. In the coming weeks, more information will be shared with the community. Instructions on submitting proof of vaccination and requesting an exemption from the vaccination requirement will be provided. Additionally, the University will work to assist our community members experiencing barriers to receiving vaccinations, including our international students who may not have access to FDA-authorized vaccines prior to their return to The Bluff. We recognize that not all areas of the country or the world have equity in access to vaccines, and we commit to providing assistance to our students and employees. We appreciate your patience as further resources are developed and made available to the community.

As we have stated from the start of the pandemic, the health and well-being of UP community members must be our collective priority. We have adopted several measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and, thanks to your extraordinary efforts, the University has achieved great success in keeping COVID-19 case numbers low. The vaccination requirement we announce today is just the latest step we must take in our journey to keep one another safe as we return to the cherished in-person campus community that is so essential to our mission.


Father Mark Poorman, C.S.C.

Dr. Herbert Medina

Father John Donato, C.S.C.
Vice President for Student Affairs and COVID-19 Steering Committee Co-Chair

Dr. Elise Moentmann
Associate Provost and COVID-19 Steering Committee Co-Chair

Jim Ravelli
Vice President for University Operations and COVID-19 Steering Committee Co-Chair

Dr. Casey Shillam
School of Nursing Dean and COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force Chair