LAS VEGAS – The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents maintained the existing employee COVID-19 vaccine requirement at a special meeting on Thursday.
NSHE employees who are not vaccinated or do not have an approved exemption will be terminated effective Dec. 31, 2021. Of the more than 22,240 NSHE employees, 379 will be terminated, 188 will end employment due to the completion of a contract, and 18 voluntarily resigned.
The Board of Regents’ policy provided unvaccinated employees multiple ways to comply with the requirement since it was passed in September, including getting the vaccine or receiving a medical or religious exemption. Employees who exclusively work remotely or telecommute, pursuant to an approved agreement with their respective institution, are exempt from the requirement.
Employees who are leaving NSHE employment have a 30-day grace period following termination from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2022, that will allow them to request to be reinstated to their former position upon showing a completed COVID-19 vaccination series.
“The pandemic has underscored the importance of delivering a safe and effective in-person educational experience for our students and the vaccine will help our institutions achieve that goal,” said Vice Chair Pro Tempore Amy Carvalho. “We are proud of our faculty and staff who have made the adjustments during this challenging time.”
NSHE continues to strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The science and data have consistently shown that receiving the COVID-19 vaccines continues to be the surest, safest, and most effective way to keep Nevada safe and learning.
Finally, the Board of Regents directed Chancellor Melody Rose to prepare a written letter of support for an NSHE student COVID-19 vaccine requirement to the Governor, the state Board of Health, and the Nevada Legislature that will be reviewed at the Board’s Jan. 14, 2022, meeting.
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting research universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges, and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents. The System includes the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada State College, Desert Research Institute, the College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, and Western Nevada College.