Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced during a press conference this morning (Feb. 26, 2021) that employees of the state’s public and private colleges and universities will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination beginning May 1. This includes faculty and staff at Oregon’s community colleges, public and private nonprofit universities.
Oregon’s post-secondary institutions are grateful to the Governor for recognizing the importance of vaccinating college and university workers as a critical step in the state’s economic recovery. Too many Oregonians have made the difficult decision to delay or completely forgo post-secondary education, stagnating our economic recovery and slowing social mobility. A return to in-person instruction will ensure we can avert further decline of highly valued training, certificates and degrees for Oregon’s workforce.
While a few institutions have been able to offer in-person instruction in the current academic year, opening eligibility for vaccination to post-secondary employees will bring all our institutions one step closer to a full resumption of in-person instruction and activities and will provide current and prospective students assurance about safe operations and plans for the fall. This will allow Oregon’s colleges and universities to better serve our communities and students, many of whom are first-generation, low income, and from systemically marginalized communities.
Allowing higher education access to vaccinations will greatly assist institutions in completing our mission to provide Oregon’s intellectual capital and qualified workforce for the future.