Ball State University is closely monitoring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We are committed to keeping the campus community safe.

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

Please review the following frequently asked questions for information relevant to our campus community.

Resources

CDC Statement on How Coronavirus Spreads

The CDC released updated information regarding the spread of COVID-19 on May 21, 2020. Read the statement (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions

The University Libraries COVID-19 Operations Plan details the measures Ball State has taken to safely welcome students, faculty, and community members back to our libraries this Fall. This includes physical distancing measures and promotion of curbside and remote services. Learn more.

We’d like to take this opportunity to provide context to the report so that you can have complete information as you assess the safety of Ball State and Muncie.

Most of the COVID-19 deaths in Muncie have occurred in long-term care facilities, rather than the general population, and the majority of the Delaware County residents who died were age 80 and older. As with the rest of the country, residents of these facilities have a higher risk of life-threatening complications.

In addition, our local public health officials have said the number of cases in Muncie is too low to draw a conclusion about trends. With low numbers, any change can skew the results.

The safety of our students, faculty and staff, and visitors is of paramount importance. We are taking the necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and neutralize the harm that the disease can inflict, particularly upon vulnerable people.

For more information, you may consult the following resources:

Facilities Planning and Management has, and will continue to, sanitize public spaces and general-purpose classrooms in academic and administrative buildings.

Facilities Planning and Management has also sanitized all employee offices in academic and administrative buildings, and faculty and staff are expected to continue sanitizing surfaces in their offices.

Elevator capacity in all elevators will be reduced to allow for physical distancing, and capacities will be posted on all floors.

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 on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

If you experience symptoms, as with all contagious illnesses, isolate yourself to limit the potential exposure to other people.

See our treatment information above for general guidelines.

If you work at Ball State and need to know what to do, see our FAQs for faculty and staff.

To the degree possible, minimizing physical contact and maintaining some distance from other humans can limit exposure opportunities.

In the meantime, non-essential in-person meetings should be limited to 10 persons or less, and individuals who are at greater risk should not attend in-person meetings. Whenever possible, meetings should be conducted virtually.

Maintain separation, as much as possible. Six feet is the current recommendation.

Notify the Office of the Dean of Students that you are practicing physical distancing.

We have created a form that allows students to report directly into a system that will track and automate responses.

Submit a Form

Refer students who are on campus and suspect they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to call the Student Health Center for an appointment. The Health Center will follow established protocols. If the student tests positive for COVID-19, the Dean of Students will be notified as appropriate.

Confirmed cases in Indiana, and the prospects of more, have caused a growing number of school districts to close and move to online instruction. Without students in classrooms in the traditional setting, it is impossible to continue with student teaching, practical experiences, observations, clinical supervision, and other field-based school 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.

We appreciate everyone’s assistance in making the transition as smooth as possible.

If you have questions about the implementation of these changes, please visit the webpage with frequently asked questions for students and faculty.

On Monday, March 16 we suspended all in-person classes for the duration of the Spring semester. In-person classes were replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options. As a result, there is no reason to provide reimbursement.

Only our demand-response bus service is operational at this time for those needing mobility assistance on campus.

This service operates on the following schedule:

  • Monday–Thursday, 7:15 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Friday, 7:15 a.m.-8 p.m.

To use this service, please call 765-285-9045 at least 30 minutes in advance to schedule a ride.

See our Information Technology Support Services Availability web page for full details about the:

  • Technology Center
  • Technology Store
  • Testing Labs
  • University Media Services Equipment Checkout
  • Accessible Technology Lab
  • ID Card Office
  • Mediasite Lecture Recording and Distance Education

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

In the coming weeks, as the number of students and employees on campus declines to a much smaller number, we anticipate that we will close several dining halls.

For daily updates, check the Dining Services website.

News reports about a new coronavirus outbreak—together with speculation that it could become more widespread—is making some people anxious.

To help our students manage any anxiety they may feel, put news reports into perspective, and maintain a positive outlook, visit the Counseling Center website.

For faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides resources for these types of life events. Call 1-888-465-1324 for assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee and immediate family. Additionally, employees enrolled on a Ball State-sponsored Anthem health care plan may use the LiveHealth Online Psychology resources to speak with a counselor from the privacy of home.

 From March 16 until April 30, all university-sponsored or university-hosted events of 50 or more people are postponed or canceled.

  • Event organizers should consider conducting events virtually.
  • 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. Exceptions will only be granted in rare circumstances.
  • At this point, we hope to host Commencement ceremonies, but we will make a final decision at a later date.
  • For events held that are presently scheduled to be held on our campus and that are not University-sponsored or University-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.

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.

Read the full announcement.


All in-person athletics activities have been suspended until further notice. This includes formal and organized practices, off-campus recruiting activities, and official and unofficial visits. 

The only permissible recruiting will be written and electronic communication to include letters, emails, text messages and phone calls, in compliance with existing NCAA legislation.

Read the full announcement.

Yes. Operations are continuing as normal at this time.

In alignment with updates and recommendations from the CDC, State Department of Health, and the City of Fishers, Launch Fishers will be closed through March 30. Launch Fishers will continue to evaluate the situation and will communicate updates as information becomes available.

People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.

People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.

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.

Housing contract policies regarding cancelation deadlines and the Premium Plan cancelation penalty for the upcoming 2020–21 academic year have been adjusted. Read the updated policies.

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.

As circumstances with COVID-19 continue to evolve, the safety of our faculty, staff, students, and visitors continues to be of paramount importance. As we look toward the coming weeks, we find it necessary to cancel all Ball State University camps, conferences, space rentals, and third party camps through June 30, including those that start in June and end in July. We are making this announcement now so that you can make plans as far ahead as possible.

For more information, read our FAQs.

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.

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.

Shuttle Services

Only our demand-response bus service is operational at this time for those needing mobility assistance on campus.

This service operates on the following schedule:

  • Monday–Thursday, 7:15 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Friday, 7:15 a.m.-8 p.m.

To use this service, please call 765-285-9045 at least 30 minutes in advance to schedule a ride.

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.