Vaccine Policy

COVID-19 Vaccinations

In order to protect the health of our community, Rhodes will require all faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021. Vaccination and submission of vaccination records (or an approved request for exemption due to medical or religious reasons) by September 30 is a condition of continued employment. 

Staff: For staff members in the process of getting vaccinated and those granted an exemption, their work location and/or schedule may be adjusted to increase physical distancing and limit contact with others. This will include a shift to remote work for those whom it is feasible to fulfill their work responsibilities remotely. For those whom a shift to remote work is not feasible, weekly asymptomatic testing will be required. Once the employee is fourteen days beyond the completion of their vaccination series, they may return to the normal work schedule/location.

After September 30, 2021, supervisors will be notified of staff members who are not in compliance, and the College will take appropriate disciplinary action, which will include a period of two weeks of unpaid administrative leave and, for those not vaccinated at the end of the administrative leave, termination of employment. Employees who submit fraudulent or illegitimate vaccination records may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

Faculty: All faculty who are fully vaccinated will teach in person. Faculty who are not yet fourteen days beyond the completion of their vaccination series by the time of their first class will need to begin the semester teaching remotely. Once a faculty member is fourteen days beyond the completion of their vaccination series, they may begin teaching in person.

Faculty granted a medical or religious exemption will teach their classes remotely. Faculty who have neither received both doses of a vaccine nor been approved by Human Resources for a medical or religious exemption by September 30 will teach remotely for the fall semester.

Faculty who have neither received a full vaccine series nor been approved by Human Resources for a medical or religious exemption by September 30 will be given written notification of the College’s intention to place them on unpaid leave for the spring 2022 semester. If conditions warrant, the College may reconsider this decision by the end of the fall 2021 semester. However, be advised that the College considers the likelihood of waiving the vaccination requirement at any time during the 2021-22 academic year to be unlikely. 

Exemptions: Individuals may seek a medical or a religious exemption to the vaccination requirement. Please email Human Resources (vaccines@rhodes.edu), to request either a medical or religious exemption and to obtain the necessary paperwork to be completed in accordance with the exemption request. Completed exemption forms are due no later than August 25, 2021. There is no guarantee that an exemption will be granted.

Retaliation Prohibited
Rhodes strictly prohibits retaliation against any employee who makes a good faith request for exemption from the vaccine, regardless of whether the exemption is granted. Any employee found to have engaged in retaliation against an employee who makes a valid request for an exemption will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Employees who submit fraudulent or illegitimate vaccination requests for exemption from the vaccine may also be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. To report instances of retaliation of fraudulent documentation, contact Human Resources.