Central Connecticut State University in New Britain has struggled in recent years in its response to sexual harrassment allegations against faculty. Connecticut Public Radio
Central Connecticut State University in New Britain is among the schools requiring all employees to be vaccinated. Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities have joined the University of Connecticut in requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The agreement among administrators and teachers unions, which was signed on Friday, states that employees will be sent a link to a form where they would need to show proof of their vaccination status “prior to engaging in any activities on campus” in the fall. They will also receive another link to request an exemption from the policy.

“The union supports any measures that ensure everyone’s safety so that we can get through the pandemic and move forward to providing the best quality public higher education our students deserve,” said an official from the CSU-American Association of University Professors. “This will just make sure that everyone involved stays as healthy as possible during this public crisis.”

The policy states that those who opt out of disclosing their vaccination status and apply for a non-medical exemption will have to do weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a mask indoors at any CSCU property. CSCU students, visitors and employees will still be required to wear masks while indoors regardless of vaccination status. Vaccination clinics will be held at all CSCU colleges and universities throughout the fall and are available to all employees.

For system office, community college and Charter Oak State College employees, both the proof and exemption forms will be reviewed by the CSCU Human Resources Strategy team, according to the policy. Employees at the four regional state universities will have their forms reviewed by the chief human resource officer at their respective campuses.

The decision to mandate employee vaccinations follows UConn’s announcement last week and the board of regents approving a policy in June requiring all CSCU students to get vaccinated against COVID. Private colleges and universities in the state such as Yale, Quinnipiac and Trinity have also established universal vaccination requirements for all students and staff.

The mandate also follows Gov. Ned Lamont’s order on Thursday for all state employees, teachers and staff in K-12 schools and daycare to be vaccinated by Sept. 27, which also expanded on a previous requirement for nursing homes.

“The BOR believes that employees and students have a critical role to play in preventing infection and reducing the spread of COVID-19 by being vaccinated,” CSCU spokesman Leigh Appleby said. “We are pleased that our unions agreed to this commonsense requirement.”

Adria was CT Mirror's Education and Community Reporter. She grew up in Oakland, graduated from Sacramento State where she was co-news editor of the student newspaper, and worked as a part-time reporter at CalMatters. Most recently Adria interned at The Marshall Project, a national nonprofit news organization that reports on criminal justice issues. Adria was one of CT Mirror’s Report For America Corps Members.