Letter to the Editor: Faculty statement opposing vaccine mandate

The statement below is not intended to reflect on the value of vaccine interventions for COVID-19.

We oppose a vaccine mandate for faculty, students, or staff because we respect and trust the autonomy of members of our campus community to make medical decisions that they believe are in the best interest of them, their loved ones, and their community.


Thomas Frazier, Ph.D & Anthony Tarescavage, Ph.D., Psychology

Mary Beadle, Ph.D., Communications

Denise Brewster, Adjunct Professor

Marc Lynn, Ph.D., Management

Michael Settler, Ph.D., Chemistry

Mariah Webinger, Ph.D., Accountancy


The following context for this letter is written and endorsed only by Dr. Tom Frazier and Dr. Anthony Tarescavage. Other faculty anonymously supported the statement above but were not willing to publicly endorse it. We developed a balanced, anonymous survey to better understand faculty attitudes on vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and their implementation (full text at www.tinyurl.com/jcucovidsurvey). In order for our survey to be sent to the faculty via the faculty email listserv, we forwarded the survey to John Carroll’s Faculty Council for review. This Council’s basic objective, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook (Part One, IV, A.2), is as follows: “to carry out such procedural functions as shall be necessary for the efficient operation of the Faculty in all matters where the Faculty shall be called upon to express its opinion or render a decision.”  Our survey, which was intended to allow faculty the opportunity to anonymously express their viewpoints, was suppressed on 9/1/2021 by a majority vote of Faculty Council.

Along with our request to Faculty Council, we provided the following rationale for sending the survey: “It is well known that ideological diversity is low among faculty on college campuses and this has led to people avoiding expressing their opinion when they cannot be anonymous. The purpose of the survey is to try to get a more representative sample of the opinions and feedback on recent mandates of faculty and staff on campus via a voluntary anonymous survey. This information has the potential to illuminate creative solutions for implementation. It may also identify problem areas in the faculty culture as it relates to free inquiry and thought diversity. Raw and aggregated survey data will be shared with the faculty, the COVID-19 task force, the provost, and the president. Thank you for your time.” (emphasis added)

We present to the campus community the Faculty Council’s majority decision as an initial example of a problem in our faculty culture as it relates to free inquiry and thought diversity. We hope to collaborate with our colleagues, from Faculty Council and beyond, on further investigating this potential issue as well as obtaining representative viewpoints that will illuminate creative solutions for implementing COVID-19 precautions that are in the best interest of the campus community.


Thomas Frazier, Ph.D & Anthony Tarescavage, Ph.D., Psychology