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EIU Media Relations

Important Message from EIU Leaders Regarding COVID-19


To the Eastern Illinois University community:

We write to update you on our response to the unprecedented health challenges presented by the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is critical our university remains proactive and engaged in ensuring the health and safety of everyone within our university community. 

In order to address these new challenges, a number of actions are necessary to protect the safety, health, and well-being of our University community. Our actions are based on current best practices for managing the quickly evolving situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with current COVID-19 information available from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as from state and local health officials. We understand that many questions remain, and ask for your patience as we navigate these new challenges together.

The actions to be taken include the following:

  • Eastern Illinois University will extend its spring break for students through March 29. No classes will be held during this time.

  • Students will have the option of studying remotely from their campus residence or from home after spring break.

  • The University and all of its offices will remain open during this time period and will remain open moving forward.

  • To the greatest extent possible, when university courses resume March 30, classes will be delivered through online instruction and/or other alternative instructional methods. Online and other alternative learning methods will replace traditional face-to-face instruction and continue until further notice. We understand that some classes will be much more difficult to deliver online and in different formats. We continue to explore different approaches for completing these courses and faculty will communicate with their classes via email during the week of March 23rd.

  • Faculty are expected to return to work on March 23rd to develop the necessary actions to move their face-to-face courses to online or other alternative models, working in close consultation with the Faculty Development and Innovation Center, as well as their college leadership, to provide instructional excellence shaped by best practices.

  • There will be no change in programming for students enrolled in internship, clinical, or student teaching experiences off campus. These activities will continue, but may vary in the future based on the policies of the host organization, school, or business. If students have questions about these experiences, please contact the academic program coordinators.

  • Graduate assistants and student workers should report back to work on March 23rd as usual, unless otherwise indicated by their unit supervisors. Alternative schedules may be developed on a case-by-case basis as determined by supervisors.  Student employees will be contacted by the supervisors with more detailed information on student-worker assignments.

  • Students, faculty, staff and their families will be updated regularly via email and university websites during this time frame.  As such, it is imperative that students closely monitor their official EIU email accounts.

  • Residence halls and Greek Court will close throughout the duration of the previously scheduled Spring Break, though students may return on March 23.  In short, all residence halls and on-campus dining will be available to all enrolled students with housing and dining contracts. 

  • Effective March 12, all University-sponsored, non-essential domestic travel and all international travel is suspended until further notice, unless approved by the Office of the President. All forthcoming Summer 2020 study abroad programs and international internships are canceled. Personal international travel is strongly discouraged, and we urge caution and the exercise of good judgment for personal domestic travel, in accordance with previous university recommendations. Those choosing to travel must follow updated university policies on self-isolation before returning to campus if returning from any country with a Level 3 or higher federal health warning.

  • Throughout this pandemic, Eastern Illinois University is attempting to contain or limit any spread by recommending observing the CDC’s recommended prevention guidelines.

  • Effective March 16, events at Eastern Illinois University with 50 or more anticipated attendees are postponed through at least May 1. This includes all Registered Student Organizations (RSO) events. All gatherings falling into acceptable participant levels should follow the CDC’s guidelines. Events that do not fall into acceptable attendee limit parameters may opt for livestream or other telecommunication delivery, or be postponed to a future date. More information will be provided regarding the status of specific events.

We recognize these actions will undoubtedly create challenges for students, faculty, staff members, and the greater Eastern Illinois University community. However, this pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances, making these actions prudent and necessary. For more information about COVID-19 and Eastern Illinois University’s response, please visit

We understand this message also will raise questions for which answers are not yet available.  In the interim, we will continue to have ongoing discussions with students, faculty, and staff members impacted by today’s decisions answering to more specific issues. We ask for your patience as we attempt to address individual concerns and circumstances. Until then, inquiries can be directed to

Eastern Illinois University is a community unified by the deep, impactful relationships we create with our students. As such, we pledge to work together as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances. We appreciate your understanding as we move forward with the best interests of all involved driving our every decision.


David Glassman, President
Jay Gatrell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Lynette Drake, Vice President for Student Affairs

Additional resources:

EIU’s COVID-19 site:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
World Health Organization:



Related Pages

Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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