Dear Colleagues:

A recent Executive Order (EO) issued by President Biden directs federal departments and agencies to require their contractors and subcontractors to comply with newly issued workplace safety guidance that mandates COVID-19 vaccinations and safety protocols, such as mask requirements. Because Mines receives federal funding for our research and other efforts, we are subject to these new requirements.

There are two primary implications for us:

  • While the federal vaccination requirement is similar to our campus vaccination requirement, there are differences. Under the federal rule, all Mines employees will have to satisfy the federal vaccination requirement, regardless of whether an employee is working on a federal contract and regardless of whether the employee is working on campus. Also, non-religious personal belief exemptions are not allowed under the federal requirement.  Graduate students who are employed through RA or TA contracts are subject to the federal vaccination requirement.
  • We will have to extend our indoor mask requirement beyond classrooms to shared and common spaces in most of our academic, research and administrative buildings. The revised policy will be shared soon in a separate communication.

Plan to Fulfill the Federal Vaccination Requirement 

We are fortunate that most Mines employees and graduate students are already in compliance with the federal vaccination requirement (thank you!). This was satisfied when they uploaded their vaccination paperwork through OnBase or the Student Health Portal.

Human Resources will be individually contacting all other employees who have either:

  • not submitted any documentation of vaccination or an exemption; or
  • previously submitted an exemption based on a non-religious personal belief. As mentioned above, non-religious personal belief exemptions are not permitted under the federal guidelines, but medical and religious belief exemptions are.

In these cases, Human Resources will partner with employees to submit the required documentation by the end of the Fall semester, December 17, 2021.

Overall, thanks to our community’s efforts, we are doing very well this semester with relatively few COVID-19 cases and a return to almost-normal for the Fall semester. It is great to have in-person classes, collaborative research, active student clubs/orgs, and a full suite of athletics competitions. I very much appreciate all that you are doing to keep our community safe, and all that you will do to help us comply with the new federal expectations.


Paul C. Johnson, PhD

President and Professor