Chancellor Blank: Normal fall semester at UW hinges on vaccinations

University of Wisconsin-Madison

A normal fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will depend on the pace of vaccinations for faculty, staff and students, the school's top leader said Wednesday.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in remarks taped for the Wisconsin Counties Association's annual Legislative Exchange meeting that the university is an authorized vaccinator and hopes to vaccinate all faculty and staff members by the end of the spring semester. Any student who arrives for the fall semester who hasn't been vaccinated will "need" to be vaccinated through the university, she said.

If all that happens the semester will look "reasonably normal," she said. She didn't elaborate.

It's unclear whether Blank was signaling that vaccinations will be mandatory for students. UW-Madison spokespeople John Lucas and Meredith McGlone didn't immediately respond to an email seeking clarification.

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UW System President Tommy Thompson said last month that he has directed chancellors to ensure students at every campus have an opportunity to attend at least 75% of classes in person in the fall. System spokesman Mark Pitsch didn't immediately respond to an email asking if vaccinations would be mandatory across the system.

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