Faculty Council: 92 percent of surveyed employees are willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine or already have

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Eric Henry

The statue of Father John Egan outside of DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus.

CORRECTION: This story and its headline have been updated to reflect that 92 percent of surveyed employees are willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine or already have — not 92 percent of all employees. 

At a Faculty Council meeting Wednesday, health sciences professor Craig Klugman presented survey data that found 92 percent of surveyed employees are willing to take the vaccine or have taken it. 

The survey was sent out to all employees in February, including student employees, in order to determine the community’s interest in taking the vaccine. 

Of the 92 percent, 81.3 percent have plans to get the vaccine and 10.6 percent have either received it or have an appointment. About 5.2 percent are undecided and 2.8 percent have no plans to get the vaccine. A total of 3,371 people responded to the survey out of the 6,863 employees to whom it was sent. 

“They’re all great,” Klugman said about each of the vaccines. 

Klugman further explained that the expanded saliva testing coming to DePaul March 9 is limited, and that people shouldn’t rush to campus to be tested. According to the Newsline update, testing will only be available to faculty, staff and students from the School of Music, the Theatre School and those residing in residence halls. Klugman said that DePaul students can still get Covid-19 tests through mail-in testing. 

Klugman also presented data for the City of Chicago, for which the positive test rate of Covid-19 is 2.9 percent. The age demographic with the most cases is 18 to29-year-olds, and the most deaths occur with people ages 60 years or older. In terms of racial demographics, Latinx people have the highest infection rates, and Black people have the highest death rate. 

He also presented vaccine data. About 13.3 percent of Chicagoans have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 6.4 percent are fully immunized. Klugman explained that Chicago’s distribution of the vaccine is different from the state’s. Currently, the city is in Phase 1B of distribution, which includes frontline essential workers, Chicagoans 65 years or older and non-healthcare residential settings (dormitories excluded). 

Klugman said DePaul faculty and staff are expected to be included in Phase 1C of distribution, but that still isn’t certain. 

“I haven’t seen it in writing yet,” he said. 

The Faculty Council’s Physical Environment Committee, along with Klugman, explained what campus will be like upon return. 

“Ventilation systems have been updated,” said Mary Ann Papanek-Miller, a faculty member of the art school at DePaul. 

Klugman added that the elevators have been updated with infrared systems and that walls won’t be broken down in classrooms. 

The council’s Physical Environment Committee also proposed a new charge, bringing options back for safe in-person learning.

The charge reads as follows: “Consult on spatial needs, layout, design, and safety of any new physical and related online instruction enabled classrooms and teaching related meeting spaces, classroom construction or reconstruction, as well as advise on related policy for the entire campus community.” 

The council voted in favor of moving the charge. 

Roundup:

  • Faculty Council passed a motion to make a salary increase pool of no less than 2.75 percent. A motion was also passed to add the phrase “across the board” to include the work that has been done throughout the pandemic. 
  • New degrees in Graphic Design (College of Computing and Digital Media), Sports Business (Driehaus College of Business) and a sports business minor (for business students only) were passed unanimously.  The council also discussed the policy of adding half majors. 
  • DePaul’s Associate Provost of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, Cindy Pickett, returned for a Q&A session with the Faculty Council from a diversity report presented in February. Pickett said there needs to be a shared definition of anti-racism when thinking of creating policies. She said this includes questioning whether policies or practices will create more racial inequality or will it reduce it. 
  • The meeting was hosted by Faculty Council Vice President Sonia Soltero, as President Scott Paeth was attending another event.