Updated: April 3, 2020

Ball State University, in alignment with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is monitoring an outbreak caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S.

Effective Monday, March 16, we began taking additional steps to help protect all members of our campus community.

Alternative Work Arrangements for Employees

Effective immediately, we will continue to maintain only those facilities and operations that are presently vital to fulfilling our mission and to support our students. Therefore, all supervisors, based on guidance and direction from their respective Vice President, should permit their employees to work remotely, unless the supervisor determines that working remotely is clearly not practicable or the supervisor determines that the employee’s physical presence on campus is vital to our mission. 

Alternate Work Arrangement Options (PDF)          Fill Out Request Form

Resources and FAQs

documents and quick links

Keep Learning

Information Technology provides resources for students looking for information about how to continue learning at home. Learn more.

How to Keep Teaching and Working

Information Technology provides resources and information for you if you need to work from home or teach students remotely. Learn more.

Excellence in Remote Teaching and Learning

As experts in online education, we've provided resources to help our faculty maintain excellence in their classes while transitioning to remote teaching and learning environments. Learn more.

Pedagogy in Times of Disruption (PDF)

Find suggestions for how faculty members can provide effective teaching online during an institution-wide disruption and how to continue offering a student-centered learning experience in a remote or online learning environment. Download document (PDF)

Anatomy of a Great Meeting (PDF)

Learn how to plan and manage effective meetings. Download document (PDF).

Medical Request for Leave of Absence (PDF)

Fill out this form for a medical request for leave of absence related to COVID-19. Download document (PDF).

Employee Wellbeing

Working Well provides a total wellbeing resource known as Lifeworks along with the option of telephonic or onsite counseling. Learn more.

Disability Services FAQ (PDF)

Find information about Disability Services response to COVID-19. Read FAQs (PDF).

Influenza Pandemic Plan (PDF)

Read the University’s response plan for pandemic flues. Like other crisis plans, this document should be viewed as a guide that may require modification during a pandemic to appropriately respond to events. Download document (PDF).

Extraordinary Temporary Leave Program Additional Information

Email from Human Resources (March 31)

Trustees take steps to protect Ball State employees impacted by COVID-19

Press release from Board of Trustees Meeting (March 27)

Additional Information: Ball State Action Plan

Statement from President Mearns (March 24)

May 2020 Commencement Exercises

Statement from President Mearns (March 23)

Updated Action Plan

Statement from President Mearns (March 21)

Alternative Working Arrangements for Ball State Employees

Email from Human Resources (March 18)

Additional Measures to Combat COVID-19

Statement from President Mearns (March 16)

Update from Governor Holcomb

Gov. Holcomb Announces More Steps to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 (March 19)

Suspension of Teacher Education Field Experiences

Email from the Office of Teacher Education Services and Clinical Practice (March 13)

MAC Statement Regarding Updated Conference Policies Due To COVID-19

Official statement from MAC and Ball State Athletics (March 12)

COVID-19 and Your Classroom

Email from the Office of the Provost (March 12)

Statement from Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns

Official statement from President Mearns (March 11)

Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Email from Employee Relations and Affirmative Action (March 9)

Before returning from Spring break

Email from the Division of Student Affairs (March 6)

Coronavirus and Attendance Policies

Email from the Office of the Provost (March 5)

University Response

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people.

This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified, and much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.

We have provided the following resources for prevention and treatment:

General Information Resources

Guides

Beginning Monday, March 16, in-person classes were replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options.

This level of transition may require us to take action in phases.

  • The majority of our courses should be able to transition by Monday, March 16, as stated by the President. Our largest classes will transition as top priority. Smaller classes with hands-on learning may require more time to transition.
  • The rest of our courses to transition fully to either online instruction or to other alternative learning options by Monday, March 23.
  • We will make exceptions for courses that can only be taught in-person. These will need to be approved by the appropriate Dean and the Provost with clear justification as to why they cannot transition to an alternative modality.
  • It is vital that we pay attention to and meet all U.S. Department of Education and accreditation requirements as we make this transition. Academic departments should work with their college deans on program specific licensing and accreditation issues.

Faculty should consult their department chairs to identify alternative learning options. Online and Strategic Learning can assist with making content available remotely, and you may use Canvas to receive papers and other assignments.

Suspension of Teacher Education Field Experiences

For the health and safety of all Ball State University students, faculty, staff, students/children, and those of our school partners and because of the uncertainty of sites for field-based school experiences, we are suspending these experiences this semester. Read our FAQs on this topic.

Housing

Effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 10 p.m., our residence halls are closed. Very limited exceptions may be considered for students with exceptional circumstances. Permission can be received by filling out the Petition To Stay form.

Students will receive a credit to their Bursar accounts in the appropriate pro-rata amount, subject to applicable federal financial aid regulations, to be applied to future expenses. In exceptional circumstances, a pro-rata refund to a student—instead of a credit—may be considered.

The updated policies do not impact our University Apartments. All University Apartments residents will follow the terms laid out in their lease agreement.

Read our full housing guidelines and policies.

Dining

Our dining halls and other food services will remain open, but with “take out” options only.

Over the next two weeks, as the number of students and employees on campus declines to a much smaller number, we will likely close several dining halls.

For daily updates, check the Dining Services website.

From March 16 until April 30, we are suspending all University-sponsored/funded events of 50 people or more.

Event organizers should consider conducting events via alternative technologies. If an event organizer believes that a particular event is essential to fulfilling our mission, that organizer can request an exception from the appropriate Vice President. Vice Presidents will carefully consider whether to grant exceptions based on the best interests of our campus community. It is my expectation that exceptions will only be granted in rare circumstances.

For events that are presently scheduled to be held on our campus and that are not University-sponsored/funded, we will consult with outside organizations to determine whether we will permit them to use Ball State facilities for their events, and if so, under what conditions.

Specific Events

Commencement

We are saddened to share with you that we have decided to cancel our May 2020 Commencement Exercises. We are developing alternative plans to celebrate our graduates, and we would like your input.

Athletic Events

All athletic events both at Ball State and throughout the Mid-American Conference have been canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Admitted Students Day

Unfortunately, Ball State will no longer be hosting Admitted Student day on Friday, April 3.

If you’re considering starting at Ball State, we encourage you check out our Admitted Students page that offers a step-by-step guide to assist you through the transition and shows you what to expect next. Our website offers a virtual tour showcasing Ball State’s campus. The Office of Housing and Residence Life offers a great video option that allows you to see what our residence halls have to offer.

Housing

Effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 10 p.m., our residence halls are closed. Very limited exceptions may be considered for students with exceptional circumstances. Permission can be received by filling out the Petition To Stay form.

Students will receive a credit to their Bursar accounts in the appropriate pro-rata amount, subject to applicable federal financial aid regulations, to be applied to future expenses. In exceptional circumstances, a pro-rata refund to a student—instead of a credit—may be considered.

The updated policies do not impact our University Apartments. All University Apartments residents will follow the terms laid out in their lease agreement.

Read our full housing guidelines and policies.

Dining

Our dining halls and other food services will remain open, but with “take out” options only.

Over the next two weeks, as the number of students and employees on campus declines to a much smaller number, we will likely close several dining halls.

For daily updates, check the Dining Services website.

Library, Testing Labs, and Technology Support Services

Effective Saturday, March 21, our library, testing labs, and technology support services are closed to patrons and users.

Internal operations will continue, so that our staff can provide support either online or by telephone.

If you have an urgent and compelling need for physical access or in-person services, you must make an appointment.

For more information about adjusted hours and how to seek assistance, visit Unified Technology Support’s web page.

Recreational and Sports Facilities

All Ball State University recreational and sports facilities are closed until further notice.

This includes the closing of:

  • Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center
  • Ball Gymnasium
  • Lewellen Pool
  • Worthen Arena Concourse and all athletic facilities

Anyone who needs to retrieve belongings from lockers in these facilities may do so by contacting Ben Peak, director of recreation services.

Art Museum

The David Owsley Museum of Art is closed to the public until further notice.

For updates and to continue exploring the museum’s collections, visit DOMA’s website.

Planetarium

The Charles W. Brown Planetarium is closed until further notice.

Building Security

The University will secure most buildings throughout campus, with the exception of dining facilities still in operation.

Employees may access the buildings, if their assigned responsibilities require them to do so.

Questions regarding access should be directed to immediate supervisors.

Faculty and Staff

We will continue to maintain only those facilities and operations that are presently vital to fulfill our mission and to support our students.

On March 20, Delaware County Commissioners issued a Disaster Emergency Declaration. As of March 23, administrators and supervisors have been directed to assign all faculty and staff to work remotely, unless an employee’s on-campus responsibility is vital to our fundamental mission or if it is not possible for the employee to work remotely.

In light of the Governor’s March 23 Order, administrators and supervisors should review the actions that they have taken in the following two respects:

  • Ensure that employees who are working remotely are doing so at their place of residence or at another location expressly permitted in the Governor’s Order; and
  • Review any decision that requires an employee to work on-campus to ensure that the employee’s work is to facilitate distance learning, to perform critical research, or to perform an essential function. 

If a supervisor determines that an employee must work physically on campus, the supervisor must make the necessary arrangements so that the employee can exercise “social distancing” and work in a manner consistent with other guidance from public health experts.

If a supervisor determines that an employee is not able to work remotely and is not required to be physically present in order to enable the University to fulfill our mission at this time, the employee should consider using various options to secure paid leave.

We understand that circumstances continually change, and our unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of our staff and faculty guide us as we continue to respond to the evolving situation. We are systematically reviewing and updating policies and procedures.

Important Documents

Please review our guidelines and additional information on alternative work arrangements. Employees planning to work from home need to complete our online request form.

Graduate Assistants

Since the University remains open for normal business, graduate assistants should continue with their duties. 

Some GA duties may need to be modified given the circumstances. In these cases, the GA supervisor should work with the GA on making alternative work assignments.

We ask that supervisors who must modify work assignments stay within the GA Guidelines, which state:

"Supervisors must assign work to graduate assistants that contributes to their academic and professional development. The work experiences graduate assistants receive should add value to their degree and increase their competitiveness for future employment or academic opportunities.”

While guidelines also require students to have an on-campus presence, we will authorize supervisors, at their discretion, to allow completely off-campus duties, and we ask that they inform the Graduate School of these arrangements.

International

We have suspended all University-sponsored/funded international travel until further notice.

An employee can request an exception from the appropriate Vice President. Exceptions will only be granted in rare circumstances.

Domestic

Until further notice, we are suspending University-sponsored/funded domestic travel for faculty, staff, and students, including travel throughout the state of Indiana, unless a Vice President or Dean approves of an exception.

When making a decision about travel, our Vice Presidents and Deans will consider the destination, reason, duration of travel, and how important it is to our University’s mission.

Reimbursements for Canceled Work-Related Travel

For information regarding employee travel that has been canceled by either the traveler or the host due to COVID-19, and how to proceed with refunds and reimbursements, visit the Travel website.

Additional Resources