In keeping with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective Monday, August 9, 2021, all employees, students, and campus visitors -- irrespective of their vaccination status -- must wear a mask while inside any University building, with very limited exceptions. President Geoffrey S. Mearns communicated this change in health and safety protocol to our campus community on Wednesday, August 4. Read his email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Effective Monday, August 9, 2021, all employees, students, and campus visitors -- irrespective of their vaccination status -- must wear a mask while inside any University building, with very limited exceptions. President Geoffrey S. Mearns communicated this change in health and safety protocol to our campus community on Wednesday, August 4. Read his email. 

Face masks should be worn so that they cover the individual’s nose and mouth, and the type of mask should be consistent with CDC guidance. This means the face mask should help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the face mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. As examples, face masks that are crocheted or beaded would not be considered sufficient for purposes of this policy.

There are certain situations where a face mask is not required to be worn while on campus, as follows:

Exceptions to this rule are as follows:

  1. When alone in a private office, work space, or other similar work area;
  2. When actively engaged in eating or drinking;
  3. When an individual has a health condition related to the wearing of a mask and an accommodation has been granted;
  4. When a student is alone in their own room in their residence hall;
  5. If an exemption in an active executive order issued by the governor of Indiana applies; and
  6. When an exception has been granted by the Dean or Provost, or the area Vice President. Situations where exceptions may be granted include, but are not necessarily limited to, when working behind a plexiglass barrier and ample physical distancing from others can be consistently maintained, academic settings where mask-wearing is not practicable (e.g., applied music lessons) and when a job-related reason necessitates the removal of the individual’s face mask while performing a particular task.

A student with a disability who wants to request accommodations related to wearing a face mask should contact the Office of Disability Services. Employees should contact University Human Resource Services to request accommodations. Individual requests will be reviewed and assessed, and appropriate accommodations determined.

The University continues to trust its campus community members to behave responsibly, including acting in a manner consistent with our policies and protocols if they have not been fully vaccinated. With that in mind, the University does not intend to actively and routinely inquire into people’s vaccination status to determine if the individual is required to wear a face mask.

EMPLOYEES

If an employee who is required, declines to wear a face mask as required, the supervisor is responsible for addressing it with the employee. Employees should refrain from addressing noncompliance or perceived noncompliance directly with other employees and should instead report issues to their supervisors.

STUDENTS

If a student who is required, declines to wear a face mask as required, the student should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students. If the situation occurs in a classroom or other academic setting, it is considered a classroom management issue, and the faculty member should remind the student of the requirement and give the student a chance to comply with it prior to referring the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

Members of the public who are required and are not abiding by face mask requirements will first be offered a disposable face mask, if possible. If they refuse to comply with face mask requirements, they will be asked to leave and given options of how they can be served virtually.

ENFORCING GUIDELINES

Faculty and staff who need help with accountability practices should consult our COVID-19 toolkit (PDF). The University Police Department (UPD) is not responsible for enforcing face mask requirements and should not be contacted regarding such issues.

Consistent with CDC guidance, the University does not consider face shields to be an adequate substitute for face masks due to the possibility that droplets could travel under or to the side of the shield if the wearer coughs or sneezes. As such, a face shield may only be utilized when used in conjunction with a face mask or as an approved exception to the face mask policy (such as, for example, a faculty member wearing a face shield in lieu of a face mask when a student in the class relies on lip-reading).

Ball State University is providing hand sanitizer located in wall dispensers in common areas throughout campus, and disposable surgical face masks located at most front office reception areas and in dispensers in common areas throughout campus.

Departments may order PlexiGlass barriers, disinfectant wipes, clear face masks, and individual hand sanitizer bottles from SciQuest at the department’s expense. Employees may also contact Roger Hassenzahl, Director of Purchasing Services, for special orders or further assistance (rahassenzahl@bsu.edu or 5-1537)

The remaining limited supply of Ball State University branded reusable cloth face masks are reserved for new students and new employees. There will be exceptions made on a case-by-case basis for single replacements for outward-facing employees that require a branded mask. However, inventory is limited. Please contact Julie Hopwood, Associate Vice President for Business and Auxiliary Services, if you have a specific request you would like to discuss (jhopwood@bsu.edu 5-1124).


Face mask removal is permitted in University Dining locations and at University catered events while the patron/attendee is seated and actively eating. Face masks are required if the patron/attendee is not actively eating, or if the patron/attendee leaves their table.

How to Acquire a Ball State Face Mask

Ball State will not provide face masks for students and employees. Students and employees who are required to use a face mask will be responsible for providing their own.

The University will provide a limited number of disposable masks in select locations for emergencies and visitors.

Proper use and care of face masks are the responsibility of the individual. For additional guidance on the use and care of face masks, visit the CDC website and World Health Organization (WHO) website.

Accountability Toolkit

The University continues to trust its campus community members to behave responsibly, including acting in a manner consistent with our policies and protocols if they have not been fully vaccinated. With that in mind, the University does not intend to actively and routinely inquire into people’s vaccination status to determine if the individual is required to wear a face mask.

Our COVID-19 Toolkit provides guidance to help faculty and staff with face mask accountability practices with students on campus. Although we strive to respond in a consistent manner, the unique facts and circumstances of each situation (classroom, lab, studio, or field experience) may lead the campus to adjust the suggested actions.