SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri State University (MSU) is preparing to return to normal for the 2021 fall semester.
Clif Smart, MSU’s president, said a majority of students and staff will be back on campus in the fall, as well as an incentive program for employees and possibly students who choose to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
“Are we going to church on Sundays, are we going to restaurants that are full, are we going to friends’ parties inside,” said Smart. “If we’re doing all of those things, we can go to work inside as well.”
Staff against getting the vaccine without medical or religious reasons are free to do so.
“So if you simply don’t want to get it, that’s a choice that you can make,” said Rachael Dockery, chief compliance officer at MSU. “We will not make you get it, but that’s not an accommodation.”
What’s still unknown is whether masks and distancing will be required on campus by the time classes begin in the fall.
“So, can’t tell you what August is going to look like yet, but we’ll be working hand and glove with the city as they unwind their COVID-19 limitations, and I’m confident we’ll begin unwinding ours,” said Smart. “Now we are committed to continuing to operate as we have been this semester through the end of this semester.”
As an incentive for staff to get vaccinated, Smart announced employees will be able to save about $350 on their health insurance in 2022 if they get both the COVID-19 and flu vaccine by December 2021.