By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A normal fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will depend on the pace of vaccinations for faculty, staff and students, the school’s top leader said Wednesday.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in remarks taped for the Wisconsin Counties Association’s annual Legislative Exchange meeting that the university is an authorized vaccinator and hopes to vaccinate all faculty and staff members by the end of the spring semester. Any student who arrives for the fall semester who hasn’t been vaccinated will “need” to be vaccinated through the university, she said.

If all that happens the semester will look “reasonably normal,” she said. She didn’t elaborate.

UW-Madison spokesman John Lucas said in a email after her remarks concluded that Blank didn’t mean to imply that vaccinations would be mandatory.

“Our goal this fall is any student who arrives on campus who has not yet been vaccinated should have an opportunity to receive a vaccine from us, should they choose to,” Lucas said.

UW System President Tommy Thompson said last month that he has directed chancellors to ensure students at every campus have an opportunity to attend at least 75% of classes in person in the fall.

System spokesman Mark Pitsch said in an email that student vaccinations won’t be mandatory across the campuses.

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