I write to inform you of additional steps our University is taking to respond to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. We are not currently aware of any reported cases of COVID-19 at Ball State, but it is likely the virus will spread to our community. As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation, I recommend that we take the following steps to help protect all members of our campus community.
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.
From March 16 until April 30, we are suspending all University-sponsored/funded events of 100 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 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.
While the University remains open, I encourage every member of the campus community to conduct meetings virtually whenever possible.
For Faculty, Staff, and Operations
Our employees are essential to ensuring the University is able to maintain operations in a safe and responsible manner. We will continue to monitor conditions and make decisions about alternative work arrangements for our faculty and staff as needed.
We have suspended all University-sponsored/funded international travel until further notice. An employee can request an exception from the appropriate Vice President. I expect that exceptions will only be granted in rare circumstances.
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.
I provide this guidance to our campus community in order to help slow and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We understand these steps will cause significant disruption, but we must act in a responsible manner consistent with our University values.
I appreciate your understanding, patience, and flexibility during this time. Together, we will manage the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Geoffrey S. Mearns
Ball State University
Stay informed about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the steps Ball State is taking to keep the campus and community safe. Learn more.