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Board of Higher Education gives college presidents authority to deal with new federal vaccination mandates

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Shawna Noel Schill
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UND President Andrew Armacost

The state Board of Higher Education has given the college and university presidents the authority to do what they will to respond to a new federal vaccine mandate, that deals with institutions that have contracts with the federal government.

That could affect direct contracts and federal research dollars.

UND President Andrew Armacost told the Board not complying with the mandate could mean a loss for his institution of between $11 million and $20 million.

"The loss of that money means the loss of employees, the loss of research projects, and the loss of opportunities for our students to be engaged in that kind of creative work," Armacost said.

With a potential Dec. 17th deadline, the resolution was drafted quickly. And some Board members worried that not all the presidents had feedback on it.

A motion was made to table the issue. But Chancellor Mark Hagerott told the Board he heard from the presidents that they needed this kind of policy statement as soon as possible.

"Otherwise, they're left out to dry, with faculty and everyone else who is pressuring on these things," Hagerott said. "A delay is going to put the presidents in a very difficult position."

The motion to table failed 7 to 2 – and the resolution passed on a 7 to 2 vote.

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