COVID-19 vaccination of Sac State faculty uncertain due to shortage in county

Commencement date has yet to be decided


Madelaine Church

(File photo) Austin Friedheim, nursing student at Sacramento State, fills the needle up with the COVID-19 vaccine to inject patients in the Brown Bag room in the Union on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. The California State University system will require faculty, staff and students who will be accessing campus facilities in fall 2021 to receive the COVID-19 vaccination after the Food and Drug administration gives approval, according to an email announcement by the CSU on Thursday.

Robert J. Hansen

Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen told the Faculty Senate the university does not know when faculty will get vaccinated for COVID-19 or when graduation will be held during their meeting Thursday.

Nelsen said the university is pushing to get faculty vaccinated but that it is not ultimately “our” decision about when Sac State will start vaccinating faculty. Sacramento County is responsible for supplying COVID-19 vaccinations to Sac State but the county has not received enough vaccines according to Nelsen. 

“Currently, all retired faculty are eligible for it and all faculty that are over the age of 65,” Nelsen said. 

Nelsen said over 245 faculty members have been vaccinated so far. Students should still be able to get the vaccine this March or April, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Ed Mills.

Mills also discussed graduation plans after a Faculty Senate member shared concerns some seniors have expressed about not knowing when graduation will be held.

“The president is reviewing a couple of different options for how graduation could occur at the end of the term,” Mills said. “Final dates or how that’s going to be figured out, that still hasn’t been decided yet.”

RELATED: Sac State considering option for on-campus spring commencement

A proposed change by the Campus Health Oversight Policy (CHOP) could make Mills responsible for the athletic medicine program instead of Athletic Director Mark Orr. The changes are necessary to ensure appropriate oversight of all Sac State health services, according to the CHOP policy. 

The CHOP requires the president or a designee ensure appropriate oversight of all university health services.

The changes also include establishing a Campus Health Oversight Committee to provide oversight of all activities associated with ongoing departments and programs which currently provide health services at Sac State.

It was also announced at Thursday’s meeting that the department of women’s studies’ name is in the final stages of being changed to “women’s and gender studies.”

Sujatha Moni, chair of the women’s studies department, said the change has been in the works for several years. 

“The name change, secondly, is more reflective of who we are as a program,” Moni said.

The Faculty Senate also observed a moment of silence for eight individuals connected with the university who recently died.

The names of the faculty, alumni, current and former students who died are: Anita Watson, Richard Valdez, Helen Young, Arath Chavez, Marissa Edwards, Long Vang, Lorall Hann and James Tackitt.