Ball State University officials say they are planning for both on campus and online classes for the fall. The Muncie school wants to be ready in case some coronavirus restrictions are still in place.
“It is the overarching and paramount objective to prepare and to plan to resume appropriate academic and campus operations for the fall semester," says Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns.
Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced IU's plan for the fall semester includes five different scenarios, to account for changing social distancing guidelines.
Mearns says, as of now, he expects to welcome students to campus in August.
“I think we will be on campus with some classes and with some operations," he says. "I think it would be foolish to predict that it would exactly replicate what campus would look like on March 1.”
The school wants faculty to design fall classes that can be presented either in a classroom or online. Provost Susana Rivera-Mills likens it to being bilingual.
“I can be in a room with English speakers and Spanish speakers and be able to ‘code switch’ quite seamlessly through conversations, going from English to Spanish," she says. "So, in a way, I’m asking our faculty to become ‘bimodal.’”
May 1 is the traditional priority deadline for students to commit to coming to Ball State for the fall. Because of the pandemic, this year’s deadline is extended to June 1. The university is also removing holds on accounts from students that owe money, so they can register for the fall.
Line of Credit
Ball State trustees on Friday also approved pursuing a $30 million line of credit for the school, with the option to increase it to $50 million. Alan Finn, Vice President for Business Affairs, says he has “no specific concerns” about funding.
But, as a board member pointed out, “the best time to ask for money is when you don’t need it.” First Merchants Bank will hold that line of credit.
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