Butler, Ball State, UIndy suspending in-person classes after spring breaks

Butler University, Ball State University and UIndy all announced Wednesday that they would suspend in-person classes for at least several weeks in hopes of stemming the spread of COVID-19 among their school communities.

The Indiana schools noted that no cases of the respiratory illness had been reported on their campuses, and they plan to switch instruction from classrooms to online venues.

However, while Indianapolis-based Butler announced that virtual instruction would continue at least through April 4, officials for Muncie-based Ball State said they planned to suspend in-person classes through the entire spring semester that ends on May 7.

“At this point, we hope to host commencement ceremonies (on May 8), but we will make a final decision at a later date,” Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns said in a letter to the university community.

Both Butler and Ball State scheduled the spring breaks for this week. Butler now is extending its break through March 18, after which time all classes will be conducted online.

“The steps I am announcing this evening are being taken with the highest concern for the health, safety, and wellness of our campus community, and I believe are most appropriate, given what we know at this point in time,” Butler President James Danko said in a statement.

Ball State’s classes will transition online on March 16.

Meanwhile, UIndy extended spring break for students only through Sunday, March 22. Beginning March 23, coursework will move online or to an alternative method “until it is deemed safe to resume face-to-face instruction.”

The schools are following in the footsteps of Indiana University and Purdue University, which announced suspension of in-person classes on Tuesday, as well as University of Notre Dame, which announced like-minded plans on Wednesday.

Both schools are suspending domestic and international travel until further notice. The Butler, Ball State and UIndy campuses will stay open while classes are conducted online. Students who live on campus will be able to remain.

For more stories on the impact of COVID-19 on central Indiana, click here.

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