No legal authority to do so
Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana System both said it will not mandate the COVID vaccine for returning students — and it likely does not have the legal authority to impose the mandate if it wanted to.
“Although we can’t require vaccinations under FDA Emergency Use Authorization status, broad immunization is critical to helping end the current pandemic and to protecting our overall university community,” interim LSU President Tom Galligan, a law professor, said in an April 19 message to the university community.
Galligan’s school has nearly 35,000 students. He did encourage people to get the vaccine and report their status to the university.
The UL administrators will also not mandate a COVID vaccine.
“Mandating fully authorized vaccines is difficult,” UL President Jim Henderson said, according to KATC. “We are still learning about the long-term efficacy.”
Faculty wanted a mandate — for students
Some faculty leaders had asked for a vaccine mandate.
“A resolution calling on LSU to add the COVID-19 vaccine to its list of mandatory immunizations for students returning to campus this fall passed the LSU Faculty Senate 52-1 Thursday,” the LSU Manship School News Service reported. The Fix could not find the original article, but it appears that other papers reprinted the news article in full as part of the service.
The Faculty Senate does not list the resolution on its tracker and there is currently not a video recording of the latest meeting on its website.
“[Representative] Tanner Magee of Houma, the second-ranking Republican in the House, said that he did not see any chance that lawmakers would approve a mandate,” the Manship News Service reported.
Legislation from the state would be needed to legally require a COVID vaccine for all students.
The Louisiana higher educational leaders’ decision follows a similar one made by the University of North Carolina System to refuse to mandate COVID vaccines for students.