At Ball State, we are encouraging socially responsible behavior on campus and in the community. Since July 1, 2020, we have required that all people on campus—including faculty, staff, students, vendors, contractors, suppliers, and visitors—wear face masks inside buildings, including classrooms, with limited exceptions. In outdoor settings, we require face masks if physically distancing is difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

All persons on campus—including faculty, staff, students, vendors, contractors, suppliers, and visitors—are required to wear face masks while inside campus buildings, including in classrooms and laboratories.

Face masks are also specifically required in the following situations:

  • When necessary to comply with any applicable governmental face mask orders;
  • When outdoors and in the presence of others if physical distancing is difficult to maintain;
  • When using campus transportation (such as a shuttle bus);
  • When multiple individuals are in a University vehicle; and
  • When it is determined by an employee’s supervisor that wearing a mask is necessary for specific job duties. Environmental Health and Safety will determine if particular types of face masks are required for particular job settings, and this will be communicated through supervisors.

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:

  • When alone in a private office or work space;
  • When working behind a plexiglass barrier and physical distancing from others can be maintained. This would include, for example, a faculty member teaching behind a plexiglass barrier in a classroom or laboratory setting;
  • When a student is in their own room in their residence hall;
  • When actively engaged in eating/drinking in an indoor or outdoor space;
  • When an individual has a health condition related to the wearing of a face mask and accommodation has been granted (see the “Accommodations” FAQ); and
  • When an exception has been granted by the Dean or Provost, or area Vice President. Situations where exceptions may be granted include, but are not necessarily limited to, academic settings where mask-wearing is not practicable (e.g., applied music lessons) and while participating in particular activities through Recreation Services.

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.


If an employee 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.


If a student 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 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).

How to Acquire a Ball State Face Mask

Students living in the residence halls and University Apartments will receive two face masks when they move-in.

Face Mask distribution for all other students who do not live in the residence halls or University Apartments:

  • Students must present their student IDs to pick up two (2) free masks. The Division of Student Affairs will provide additional information to new students on where to obtain face masks.
  • The University will not provide replacement masks for students who received their allotted masks in the fall or spring semester. Individuals may supply their own face masks for general use.

Employees who are new to the University may contact Purchasing Services to request a mask.

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

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.

Faculty members should contact their department chair or dean for access to the faculty version of the toolkit.

View the Toolkit (PDF)