LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — New Mexico State University will now require all faculty and other workers - including student employees - to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by by Dec. 8, eliminating the alternative of weekly coronavirus testing.
The change in university policy comes in the wake of President Joe Biden's recent executive order which requires employees of all federal contractors to be vaccinated.
“The NMSU system maintains millions of dollars in federal contracts that support research and development in a broad range of disciplines,” Chancellor Dan Arvizu said in explaining the policy change. “We are among hundreds of universities across the country who are considered to be federal contractors. After consulting with federal and state agencies, as well as our legal counsel, we’ve determined that this vaccine requirement applies to every employee in our system.”
In a memo to university employees on Wednesday, Arvizu said the weekly testing option that was allowed as part of the NMSU's original vaccination mandate rolled out in August can no longer be offered as a result of Biden's directive. He said he hoped all university workers would opt to get vaccinated and keep their jobs.
At present, NMSU said more than 85 percent of the university's roughly 7,500 employees have already been vaccinated against Covid-19.