Siobhan McAndrew Reno Gazette Journal December 3, 2021
The University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College started sending termination notices this week to more than 200 unvaccinated employees.
The Nevada System of Higher Education, the governing body over the state’s public colleges, voted in September to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees by Dec. 1 or face termination on Dec. 31.
UNR and TMCC both confirmed notices were sent this week.
Of the public college employees, 92% of nearly 23,000 employees are vaccinated.
UNR has the highest vaccination rate among the seven traditional college campuses, with 96.4% of its 7,600 employees vaccinated. The Desert Research Institute, a nonprofit research arm of the state’s college system, reports 96.8% of its 366 employees are vaccinated.
Of the state’s eight public institutions, 1,258 employees are not vaccinated and have not received a medical or religious waiver. Nearly half of those are employees at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Systemwide, 503 employees received religious or medical waivers and are not required to prove vaccination status. Employees who work 100% remotely or online are not required to show proof of vaccination. They are not included in the total number of unvaccinated at each institution.
Colleges with the highest percentage rate of unvaccinated employees include Western Nevada College in Carson City, the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas and Great Basin College in Elko. All three are smaller colleges with fewer than 4,000 employees combined.
At UNR, 153 employees are not vaccinated and do not have a medical or religious waiver. At TMCC, 68 employees are not vaccinated.
Employees who begin the vaccine regimen or receive an exemption during December could avoid termination.
“Receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is the scientifically proven most effective way to protect the health and safety of the NSHE community and end the pandemic,” Chancellor Melody Rose said in a statement.
Employee vaccine rates at NSHE institutions
- DRI: 96.8% of 366 employees
- UNR: 96:4% of 7,595 employees
- System administration: 96.3% of 161 employees
- Nevada State College: 91.6% of 785 employees
- UNLV: 91.3% of 9,336 employees
- TMCC: 91.2% of 1,227 employees
- College of Southern Nevada: 86.7% of 2,642 employees
- Western Nevada College: 85.5% of 463 employees
- Great Basin College: 85.3% of 407 employees