No. 7 Midwest Public Master's Institution
This was a significant increase for EIU in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings and one the administration felt was deserved, although Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs, was quick to point out the ranking is simply a happy byproduct of a much larger mission.
"We continually improve our programs, but not because we are overly focused on ratings," said Lord. "We want to stay focused on helping our prospective students find if they're a good fit for us and if we are a good fit for them.
"We also believe that relationships are critical to the success of our students and we're focused on keeping our classes small and our faculty accessible. Our faculty members know our students and work closely with them to create a great learning atmosphere. In the end, those efforts are more important to us than any ranking -- even when there is a big jump in the numbers."Back to Top
Jeff Boshart: 2013 Illinois Professor of the Year
For the second time in a span of three years, an EIU faculty member has garnered this top honor from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Jeffrey Boshart, part of the art department faculty since 1988, joins 2011 winner David Raybin as EIU faculty members to receive the award. He was selected from more than 350 top professors in the United States.Back to Top
EIU's Sustainability Makes The Princeton Review
Eastern learned it was once again deemed one of the continent's most environmentally responsible colleges thanks to its inclusion in the 2013 edition of "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges".
It's the second straight year on this prestigious list for EIU after making its first appearance the year before. Recognized institutions must demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.Back to Top
A Place for Student Veterans to Shine
Early in the year, EIU learned it was chosen as a Fall 2012 recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education because of its commitment to going above and beyond basic veterans' services and fostering a veteran-friendly atmosphere.
Cited in the recognition were the institution's transition workshops for student veterans; administrative, programmatic and financial aid policies in place specifically for supporting student veterans who enter training or active duty in the middle of an academic term; and the work of the university's Veterans Service Office.Back to Top
Garoppolo Wins Walter Payton Award
Eastern's football team was considered one of the top FCS squads in the country all season long, and a key cog in the Panthers' success was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. When it came time to hand out the 2013 Walter Payton Award to the top FCS player in the land, it was no surprise to see their senior signal-caller got the nod.
Named the Ohio Valley Conference's offensive player of the year, "Jimmy G" pushed EIU to its second straight outright league title and led the nation in passing yards, passing yards per game, and touchdown passes. With his sights now set on the National Football League, Garoppolo has made a compelling case for consideration as the best QB ever to play at Eastern -- pretty impressive, considering 2002 Payton Award winner and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton are also on that list.Back to Top
Panthers Bring Home OVC Commissioner's Cup
Eastern's athletic success isn't limited to football, either. While Jimmy Garoppolo and his gridiron teammates have garnered a great deal of attention over the past couple seasons, Panther Athletics as a collective unit had quite an impressive 2012-13 season.
In fact, the men's and women's sports teams at EIU were so successful they were awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner's Cup for 2012-13, a symbol of overall athletic excellence in OVC-sponsored championships. Points are awarded for each of the 18 sponsored sports, and schools add together their points from each sport to determine a grand total.
This is the third time in five years EIU has collected the Commissioner's Cup.Back to Top
A Lead Institution in Civic Engagement
Seventy-three U.S. colleges and universities have been identified as "lead institutions" by NASPA -- Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and have been asked to participate in a national initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement. EIU is honored to be one of those 73.
As part of the initiative, Eastern's responsibility is simple: Keep doing what it's doing. EIU will continue to encourage students' volunteerism and civic engagement.Back to Top
National Honor Roll for Community Service
Another service-related honor for Eastern is its inclusion on the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is EIU's second consecutive year on the listing, which is considered the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
Since opening its Office of Student Community Service in Fall 2008, thousands of EIU students participate in more than 100,000 hours of service on an annual basis.Back to Top
Making NCUR a Home Away From Home
Eastern prides itself on fostering undergraduate research. That commitment shone through in April when it sent 33 students to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
If you're thinking that's a lot, you're right. No other Illinois college had more student researchers accepted to attend and present.Back to Top
A Tree Campus USA Mainstay
For four years running, EIU is proud to have a place on the Tree Campus USA listing. The recognition is a partnership of Toyota and the Arbor Day Foundation and includes fewer than 200 American colleges and universities. Eastern first appeared on the list in 2010 and has stuck around on the 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions.
There are specific standards a school must meet to be considered a Tree Campus USA, but in short the institution must be "engaged in effective management of its campus trees as well as development of connectivity with the community beyond borders to foster healthy, urban forests."Back to Top
A Top 100 Value
Washington Monthly recently compiled a list of 349 colleges and university that "do the best job of helping nonwealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices." This exclusive list was whittled down from a total of 1,572 schools considered, and EIU is proud to sit at No. 100 on the final rankings and No. 3 out of the 17 Illinois institutions to make the list.Back to Top
According to the 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement rankings, EIU seniors had great things to say about their experience here. According to the rankings, EIU seniors were more likely than all other NSSE 2013 participants to:
- Rate the quality of their interactions with faculty as "good" or "excellent"
- Report they would attend EIU if they started over again
- Rate their entire educational experience as "good" or "excellent"