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 students.

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).

Resources for Successful Remote Learning

Read remote learning tips from students and experts, and virtually access the campus academic resources you need to be successful. Remember, you're not alone

Information Technology Resources

Information Technology provides resources for students looking for information about how to continue learning at home. Learn more.

Disability Services FAQ (PDF)

Find information about Disability Services response to COVID-19. Read FAQs (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions

The Housing and Residence Life Plan details the measures Ball State has taken to safely welcome our students to residence halls in August 2020. This includes increased flexibility in our living options and steps to accommodate any student that does test positive for COVID-19. Read the plan.

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.

We are offering refunds for caps and gowns.

  • If you had your order shipped to the Ball State Bookstore, your order has been cancelled.
  • If you had your order shipped to your home, you are eligible for a refund if your package is unopened.

Find more information about the refunds.

If you are sick or suspect you are sick with COVID-19, please stay home and seek medical care (call your medical provider before visiting). If you become symptomatic (fever, cough, and shortness of breath), call the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125 (317-233-1325 after hours) or email epiresource@isdh.in.gov for guidance.

We are asking faculty to make academic accommodations for students who become ill.

If you are out for a prolonged period, medical withdrawal, and incomplete grades may be a last resort. If you believe you will encounter an incomplete grade, your professor should provide instructions and the expected due dates to submit any incomplete assignments, which is consistent with University guidelines.

We have updated our guidance on graduate assistantships to the following: 

  • As long as the University remains open for normal business, graduate assistants should continue with their assigned duties.  
  • Supervisors are not allowed to cancel GA contracts, except for performance issues, inappropriate conduct, or academic dishonesty as within the normal process outlined in the GA Guidelines.  
  • We recognize that some graduate assistant duties may need to be modified given the cancellation of face-to-face teaching, the potential disruption of University research activities, and the travel ban and restrictions on meetings and events. In these cases, the graduate assistant supervisor should work with the graduate assistant on making alternative work assignments as needed.
  • While we realize that there may be some challenges, we ask that supervisors who have to modify work assignments stay within the GA Guidelines, which state that, "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.”  
  • In keeping with the “Alternative Work Guidance” document, supervisors are encouraged to work with GAs on opportunities to work remotely.  Please continue to inform the Graduate School of these arrangements. 
  • If working remotely is not feasible, then supervisors and GAs should work together as outlined in section III of the “Alternative Work Guidance” document to make appropriate modifications.
  • If the GA and the supervisor cannot come to a satisfactory arrangement, then the GA may resign their assistantship. In these cases, GAs will forfeit the remaining portion of their stipend but will retain their tuition remission for the Spring 20 semester. If the student is eligible for Summer tuition remission, then they will retain that as well for Summer 20.

You do not need to fill out the Alternative Work Agreement for graduate students. Instead, send a brief email to gradschool@bsu.edu or one of the Graduate School’s staff with a list of your GAs who are working completely off campus. 

Our Unified Technology Support (UTS) provides valuable information and guidelines on how to effectively use key technology resources such as Canvas, Box, and WebEx.

To learn more, visit the UTS website.

We provide several resources for students facing insecurity of basic needs. Find resources.

If you traveled to an area with a Level 2 or higher travel advisory from the CDC, stay home for 14 days from the time you left the affected area and practice physical distancing.

Monitor Your Health

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times per day and monitor for fever. Document your temperature each time you take it. A temperature of 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) is considered high.
  • Watch for a cough or trouble breathing.
  • If you suspect you are sick, contact a healthcare provider immediately. Tell your doctor about your recent travel and symptoms.

Practice Physical Distancing

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Do not go to school or work for this 14-day period.

On-campus Residents

If you live in the residence halls, you will not be permitted to return to your residence hall. You must make alternate housing arrangements for the 14-day period.

Off-campus Residents

If you are home or away from campus, practice physical distancing there, and do not return to campus as the best care and monitoring may be available at home for the 14-day period.

Additional Steps

  • Email your professors to make arrangements to complete your academic obligations. Faculty will work with students required to practice physical distancing.
  • Notify the Office of the Dean of Students that you are practicing physical distancing using their online form.
  • Contact your employers and discuss your work situation.
  • Avoid crowded places, such as shopping centers and movie theaters, and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others—about 6 feet (2 meters).

On March 1, the CDC issued a guidance stating higher education institutions should consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange programs.

To best protect our students, faculty, and staff, we have decided to cancel all upcoming study abroad programs until further notice.

This includes the cancellation of:

  • all Summer study abroad programs
  • Fall semester study abroad programs scheduled to depart this Summer

At this time, we are not recalling students who are already abroad in Level 1 and Level 2 Travel Advisory Areas, according to the U.S. Department of State.

In the event these areas increase to a Level 3 or 4, Ball State may suspend or cancel programs.

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.