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Eastern Illinois University

Office of the President

About Jay ...

Effective July 1, 2023, Jay became the 12th sitting President of Eastern Illinois University. Before this appointment, he served as EIU's Provost from 2017 and held positions at Bellarmine University (2014-2017), Indiana State University (2000-2014), and Wright State University (1999-2000).

Throughout his academic leadership career, Jay took on various roles such as assistant vice president, vice provost, dean, chief research officer, associate dean, interim chair, interim director of international affairs, and program coordinator. He was also chosen as an American Council on Education Fellow during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Jay's research interests over his career have centered on spatial research methods, GIScience, and applied geography, with a focus on economic development. His research received funding from entities like the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Henry Luce Foundation, along with various state and local agencies. Currently, he serves as the co-editor of the Springer book series "Geotechnologies & the Environment" (2007-present) and has editorial experience with journals such as Applied Geography (2008-2015) and The Professional Geographer (2006-2010).

As a first-generation college graduate, Jay earned a B.S. in political science from Eastern Michigan University and graduate degrees in geography from The University of Toledo (M.A.) and West Virginia University (Ph.D.). Jay and his wife Kriss take pride in their blended family, which includes five remarkable adults — Forrest, Zoe, Claudia, Mary, and Ezra.

EIU President Dr. Jay D. Gatrell


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Office: 116 Old Main

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Vice President of Academic Affairs and ProvostVice President of Business AffairsVice President of Student AffairsVice President of University Advancement



Office of the President

1116 Old Main
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, Il 61920