COVID-19 vaccine and travel updates

Kurt Liebold, UW Oshkosh Police Chief | April 15, 2021

Dear University community, 

The percentage of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin continues to rise and positive case counts on our campuses continue to fall. 

This is great news as we move toward completing spring semester and prepare for fall semester with in-person classes, students in dorms, residence halls open and spectators at events and athletic competitions. 

We have reached out to our students in a number of ways with messaging encouraging them to get the COVID-19 vaccine. You may have seen the announcement last week from UW System President Tommy Thompson that allows students who are fully vaccinated (two weeks past their second dose) to opt out of COVID-19 testing. We have implemented that action on our campuses. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against this virus and we urge everyone to consider signing up for their shot. The number of faculty, staff and students who have been vaccinated shows this is important to you as well. 

At no time, though, has our University or UW System required vaccinations for our students or staff. Some legislators have proposed just the opposite. There is a bill pending in the Wisconsin legislature that would amend current law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. This means businesses cannot refuse to serve someone based on their vaccination status; employers cannot require vaccination; universities cannot refuse to admit someone or reduce privileges for those who are not vaccinated. This is comprehensive legislation that covers multiple existing discrimination laws. 

At UW Oshkosh we have followed science and health recommendations to develop our response to the pandemic. We believe the vaccine is the best way to protect ourselves, our University community, our families and friends – and to safely reopen to full in-person classes and activities.  

Through education and consistent messaging we expect most of our students will sign-up for the vaccine as soon as they have the opportunity. We know that many already have.  

Travel 

And now some good news about business travel at UW Oshkosh:  

  • Effective immediately, staff and faculty day trips for University business (including athletics and club sports) will be allowed with pre-approval from your dean or vice chancellor. 
  • Effective June 1, overnight domestic travel for staff and faculty on University business will be allowed with pre-approval from your dean or vice chancellor. 
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2022, international travel and international study abroad travel will be allowed.

Domestic travel, including travel within Wisconsin, with an overnight stay must have an approved Travel Authorization. Requests must be submitted prior to booking travel. The Travel Authorization form must be approved by your Vice Chancellor or the Provost. The form is automatically routed to the appropriate approver when processed through the E-Reimbursement System. Login to the system at https://www.wisconsin.edu/travel/

After travel is approved, it can be booked by contacting a consultant at Travel Incorporated (877) 811-9898 or by using Concur. Employees must use Travel Incorporated or Concur for all business travel as it allows the University to quickly  locate and assist traveling employees in times of emergency. If you have specific questions about travel that are not answered on the website, please contact Michelle Highley at highleym@uwosh.edu

Thank you for your continued support of our COVID-19 safety protocols. We are making great progress. 

Kurt Leibold 

UW Oshkosh Police Chief 

Chair, Emergency Operations Committee