COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Board of Curators passed two bipartisan resolutions on Thursday afternoon to prohibit any further vaccine mandates among students and staff on campus.
The first resolution stated that the University of Missouri shall not mandate new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students unless required by federal or state law or regulations. The second resolution was of similar nature but pertained to faculty and staff instead.
Existing COVID-19 health policies and vaccination mandates may remain in place such as the University’s health policy for faculty and staff in patient and clinical environments.
Both measures passed by a 5-3 vote with one curator not present. Interestingly, two of the three ‘no’ votes were from Republican Curators Greg Hoberock and Keith Holloway, showcasing their support for potential vaccine mandates in the future.
The votes in opposition from Hoberock and Holloway came as a surprise to some as Republican legislators are typically in favor of banning COVID vaccine mandates. Multiple Democrat Curators also crossed the political aisle and voted in favor of prohibiting such mandates, adding more confusion to Hoberock and Holloway’s votes.
“I’m a believer in the vaccine, to be clear, and I believe we should encourage – and this board has even incentivized – vaccinations,” said Curator Jeff Layman. “But I do not believe we should mandate the vaccine. I think the faculty, staff and students can make their own personal decisions better than we can.”
Chair of the UM Board of Curators Darryl Chatman agreed with Layman and emphasized individual liberty as the reasoning for his vote. The votes are as follows:
Darryl Chatman (D) – Yes
Maurice Graham (D) – No
Todd Graves (R) – Yes
Greg Hoberock (R) – No
Keith Holloway (R) – No
Jeff Layman (R) – Yes
Robin Wenneker (I) – Yes
Michael Williams (D) – Yes
During the meeting, the Board of Curators also voted to name the NextGen Precision Health facility on Mizzou’s Columbia campus after U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. Blunt was recognized for his decades of public service at both the state and federal level. The building is set to open this fall and will officially be named the Roy Blunt Next Gen Precision Health Building.
On September 13, the MU Board of Curators met to discuss extending Mizzou’s mask mandate policy another 30 days. With Republican curators Keith Holloway and Greg Hoberock once again joining Democrat curators, the Board extended the mandate through Oct. 15, requiring masks in all classrooms regardless of vaccination status.