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Chatman and Hoberock re-elected as chair and vice chair; new joint program approved
Columbia, Mo.— At their meeting today, the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved a resolution that declared the university would comply with the federal vaccine mandate for federal contractors. The resolution was approved after university administrators spent weeks reviewing Executive Order 14042 issued by the federal government and other actions taken by the state of Missouri, including Executive Order 21-10issued by Gov. Mike Parson and a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and attorneys general of nine other states.
“We understand the significant financial challenges that would be created if we do not comply with this federal mandate,” said Darryl Chatman, chair of the Board of Curators. “The board has encouraged our campus communities to get vaccinated pursuant to the federal vaccine mandate, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep our communities safe while also respecting individual freedoms.”
With the approval of the resolution, all UM System employees, including faculty, staff and student employees, must comply with the requirements of the federal vaccine mandate with exceptions for those who object because of a religious belief or have a verified medical reason. Additionally, university administrators could also determine that an employee is not covered by the mandate due to the nature of their work, their work location and their lack of interactions with covered employees connected to federal contracts. The mandate does not apply to students who do not work for the university. The current deadline for employees to complete the vaccination process is Jan. 4, to allow enough wait time after the last dose to become fully vaccinated by Jan. 18.
“The university will be responsive to individuals who have exemption requests,” said Mun Choi, president of the UM System. “As Governor Parson’s order has stated, we will not require any individual to receive the vaccine if they have a sincerely held religious belief or verified medical reason. We are developing a structure that will allow us to evaluate exemptions as quickly as possible to process those requests.”
More information will be communicated to university employees in the coming weeks from all four UM System universities with more details on policies, processes, training and informational opportunities. That information will include how employees may request exemptions. The university is developing a structure to evaluate exemptions quickly to process those requests.
University officials will continue to watch the evolving situation with the federal mandate closely. As the board’s resolution indicates, all or part of the mandate for UM System employees could be adjusted or rescinded due to changes in federal rules or court actions.
In other business, the board re-elected Darryl Chatman as chair and Greg Hoberock as vice chair. Their next one-year term is effective Jan. 1, 2022. Chatman was appointed to the Board in 2017, and Hoberock was appointed in 2020.
“I’m honored to be re-elected by my fellow Board members; we will continue building upon the successes of the last year,” said Chatman. “From managing a global pandemic to launching the NextGen Precision Health initiative, the most ambitious research initiative in our nearly two-century history, our universities are embracing their mission of excellence and service to Missouri.”
Chatman received a bachelor’s degree in animal science from MU in 1997, a master’s in animal science in 2001, a master’s in agricultural economics in 2007 and a juris doctorate in 2008. He currently serves as senior vice president of governance and compliance for the United Soybean Board.
Hoberock is a 1976 graduate of MU with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. He is the founder of hth Companies, Inc., which began doing business in 1984.
“It’s an exciting time at the University of Missouri, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve as vice chair for another year,” said Hoberock. “I look forward to continue working with my fellow board members and the outstanding leaders of our four UM System universities to continue delivering first-class education, research and service to the state of Missouri.”