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 faculty and staff.

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.

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).

Excellence in Remote Teaching

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.

Information Technology Resources

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

Options for COVID-19 related leaves of absence

Employees have different types of leaves available to them. Supervisors should review our guidelines on how to handle payroll and other personnel matters. Learn more.

Alternative Working Arrangements for Ball State Employees (PDF)

Human Resources provides guidance to employees and supervisors for making alternative work arrangements. Read Alternative Work Arrangement Options (PDF).

Extraordinary Temporary Paid Leave FAQ

On March 27, the Ball State Board of Trustees approved a plan providing employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 with paid leave through June 30. Read FAQs.

Federal Leaves Programs

The Federal government recently passed legislation to assist employees during the COVID-19 health emergency. See if you're eligible.

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).

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)

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).

Anatomy of a Great Meeting (PDF)

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

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Employees have different types of leaves available to them. Supervisors should review our guidelines on how to handle payroll and other personnel matters.

Read our guidelines (PDF).

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.

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.

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.

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/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.

We will continue to monitor athletic activities, practices, and competitions in coordination with the Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, the NCAA and other member institutions.

International Travel

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 Travel

Until further notice, we are suspending University-sponsored/funded domestic travel for faculty, staff, and students. This includes 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, mode, duration of travel, and how important it is to our University’s mission.

For more information please visit our University Travel Policy (PDF).

The University’s Travel website has more details about reimbursements/cancellation fees, etc. You may also consult the University Travel Policy (PDF).

Beginning Monday, March 16, we will suspend all in-person classes for the duration of the Spring semester. In-person classes will be replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options.

Susana Rivera-Mills, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, will soon provide additional information to the academic deans about the virtual instruction and alternative learning options. Deans, department chairs, and faculty instructors will also communicate specific information about their courses to our students.

At this time, we are not directing students to leave campus, and University services and offices will remain open.

Effective immediately, we will continue to maintain only those facilities and operations that are presently vital to fulfill our mission and to support our students.

Therefore, we are directing all supervisors, based on guidance and direction from their respective Vice President, to 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. 

All supervisors should consider, where possible, developing and assigning special projects to enable their employees to work remotely. All supervisors should exercise their discretion in favor of the safety and health of our employees.

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.

Employees should be aware that recent emergency legislation enacted by Congress provides the possibility of additional paid leave. We are presently developing policies and procedures to implement this legislation. We are also going to seek the approval of our Board of Trustees to authorize our employees to use unearned paid leave time from next fiscal year during this COVID-19 emergency period.

Human Resources provides guidance to employees and supervisors for making alternative work arrangements. Read Alternative Work Arrangement Options (PDF) or fill out request form.

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

Visit Working Well for a variety of resources available through Lifeworks.

Supervisors are encouraged to discuss essential duties and responsibilities with their employees to ensure coverage, make backup plans in case essential personnel are incapacitated, and evaluate any options for alternative work arrangements. 

Yes, you may be informed by your supervisor that your position is essential to the University’s operation.

This designation may vary depending on time of year and many factors. For example, food service personnel are essential if students are on campus but may not be during break periods, when students are not present; however, positions like Animal Caretakers and Police Officers are always essential. Meanwhile, other positions may be deemed essential, but can be performed virtually/remotely, such as accounting or payroll functions.

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.

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

If you experience symptoms, as with all contagious illnesses, isolate yourself to limit the potential for exposure to other people and do not come to work.

Take the following actions:

  • Notify your supervisor that you are ill and will not be able to work.
  • Isolate yourself to keep from potentially exposing other people.
  • Seek medical advice from a medical professional by calling ahead before visiting a health facility or consider virtual medical services such as LiveHealth Online.

If medically unable to work due to COVID-19, you may be covered under the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and under Ball State's Extraordinary Temporary Paid Leave program.

Currently the CDC recommends those with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

  • If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
    • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
      AND
    • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
      AND
    • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
  • If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
    • You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
      AND
    • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
      AND
    • you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and local health department. The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.

If you have been caring for an ill relative or member of your household who has tested positive for COVID-19, follow the protocols for someone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19. This may include a period of home isolation to mitigate transmission. The decision to stop home isolation and return to work should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.

Yes, the University is asking employees to stay home if they are ill, and supervisors may ask employees who report to work with symptoms to return home.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The decision to send an employee home will be made on a case-by-case basis, and if possible, in consultation with Human Resources.

As with other forms of Influenza or contagious illnesses such as colds, maintaining a reasonable distance from the person is a starting point.

Other suggestions include:

  • Do not shake hands or make other physical contact.
  • Offer the individual a mask if you have one or a tissue and ask the person to cover their mouth and nose if they should need to cough or sneeze.
  • Use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe those areas of your work station that the person has touched.
  • There may be situations in which a meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone or email. Do not hesitate to offer this suggestion if it is appropriate.
  • You may not require the student or employee to self-isolate, but you can bring the situation to the attention of your unit head for further investigation.

Remind employees of good hygiene practices such as:

  • frequent hand washing
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow, not your hands.
  • avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • posting hand-washing and hygiene posters throughout work areas, such as the Stop Germ Spread (PDF) or CDC Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • cleaning frequently touched surfaces often
  • keeping tissues and hand sanitizers easily accessible

Supervisors are to ensure  each essential worker has the  necessary personal protective equipment needed, which may include  facemasks and/or gloves, but they should not be relied upon in lieu of social distancing and good hygiene practices.

The CDC advises that when in close contact (less than 6 feet) with others cannot be avoided in areas where transmission of a contagious disease has been confirmed, the addition of facemasks and/or gloves may reduce the risk of contracting an illness, along with other preventative measures.

No. You may request to take vacation/PTO, but your supervisor is not required to approve the request in accordance with the needs of the department.

With supervisory approval, you may miss work, and would use vacation, paid time off (PTO), or compensatory time, or request an unpaid leave of absence.

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.

Yes. Employees will be advised by their supervisor if they have been designated as essential personnel.

Other employees may have been identified as backups in case other essential personnel are not available.

Supervisors will remain in communication with their employees about how essential services will be covered and when/where that work is performed.

All employees are encouraged to remain flexible as we all may be asked to assist with or cover essential duties as needed.

If you are unable to work remotely or perform essential duties due to COVID-19 related reasons, you may qualify for the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act, or Ball State's Extraordinary Temporary Paid Leave program.

Yes, but please stay in communication with your supervisor regarding when and where you might be called upon to return to work.

Regardless if the University is open or closed, an employee may be required to work regular or overtime assignments.

Existing policies remain in effect, which typically means Emergency Closure Pay would be applied during any periods of closure, rather than employees’ accrued time off benefits.

The University will continue to monitor emerging situations and applicability of such policies, especially as to the fiscal impact of an extended closure period for both employees and the University.

Employees have different types of leaves available to them. Supervisors should review our guidelines on how to handle payroll and other personnel matters.

Read our guidelines (PDF).

If you are unable to work remotely or perform essential duties due to COVID-19 related reasons, you may qualify for the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act or Ball State’s Extraordinary Temporary Paid Leave program.

Current rules have not been suspended, but if you are unable to work remotely or perform essential duties due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for paid leave options.

Unless you are electing to schedule time off when work is available, you are not required to exhaust your own pre-existing leave balances for certain COVID-19 related reasons.  If you are unable to work due to a COVID-19 reason or because you have been advised no work is available, you may qualify for the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act, or Ball State’s Extraordinary Temporary Paid Leave program

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.

Additional Resources