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Otterbein faculty choose to return to campus despite vaccine mandates

The number of unvaccinated employees has dropped to 22

There has been some debate over businesses' decisions to enact vaccine mandates during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thousands of workers have been leaving their jobs and professors across the country are departing their colleges. Despite these events, some Otterbein students said they are not worried about faculty leaving the university. 

“I feel like health and safety are a little more important to me than leaving some classes unfilled," Ryan Mullaly, Otterbein freshman said. “I think in most circumstances, there might always be next semester to take it when they can find someone to fill it.” 

Testimony from university officials has supported this viewpoint.

“As of right now, faculty are returning,” Scott Fitzgerald, Director of Human Resources at Otterbein said. “We don’t have anybody that has said they’re not returning yet. I don’t think that should be a concern.”

Fitzgerald said that only one employee had resigned and that another 16 had successfully filed for exemption as of Nov. 5. Three days later, Fitzgerald reported that the total number of unvaccinated Otterbein employees had dropped to 22. 

“This number has been dropping almost daily,” Fitzgerald said. “Multiple employees on the list are waiting to take their second shot.”

This tracks with a general trend of COVID-19 infections decreasing at college campuses. Fitzgerald reported that only three faculty members had tested positive since Nov. 1.

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