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Background and History of Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University is one of seven residential public universities in the state of Illinois. Located in Charleston, rural community of 20,000 in east-central Illinois, the University is 135 miles east of St. Louis, 180 miles south of Chicago and 120 miles west of Indianapolis. The 320-acre campus consists of 72 buildings, including 12 residence halls and 17 apartment buildings.

In a little more than a century, EIU has emerged as an outstanding academic institution with a growing reputation as a center for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. Its admission standards and its graduation and retention rates are in the top third among public universities in Illinois.

Chartered as a teacher's college in 1895, the University has developed into a multi-purpose, public university offering superior undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities in liberal arts and professional studies. At Eastern, all efforts are focused on providing a relatively small number of highly motivated students with quality, affordable educational experiences in a safe, nurturing environment usually found at private liberal arts institutions. Senior faculty, rather than graduate students, teach the vast majority of freshmen and sophomore courses; and small classes promote student learning and satisfaction with the EIU experience.

The University's academic reputation is nationally recognized. Eastern Illinois University has consistently been named one of the top Midwestern public universities in its class by U.S. News & World Report.

EIU offers 45 major courses of undergraduate study and a comprehensive range of master's degree programs. Degrees are offered through the Colleges of Business and Applied Sciences; Arts and Humanities; Education and Professional Studies; Sciences; and the B.S. in General Studies degree program.

Slightly less than 12,000 students, about 90% of whom are full-time undergraduates, attend EIU each fall and spring semester. Although the University attracts many international and out-of-state students, most EIU students are Illinois residents, with nearly all of the state's 102 counties represented in its student body. With more than 80,000 living alumni, Eastern graduates have made significant contributions to Illinois and the nation in virtually every field of endeavor. With 21 men's and women's varsity teams, EIU competes at the NCAA Division I (FCS) in football and Division I in all other sports. University athletes provide an immense source of pride and enjoyment for the entire region. EIU is a major cultural resource for Charleston, Mattoon, and surrounding communities. A broad range of music, dance and dramatic presentations, art exhibitions and lectures is available on campus. The Tarble Arts Center attracts up to 15,000 visitors a year. With more than 1,700 full-time employees and a payroll of nearly $112 million, the University is the largest employer in Coles County.

Eastern Illinois University is governed by its own Board of Trustees. The University is organized into four areas, each headed by a vice president: Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, University Advancement, and Student Affairs. The President is responsible for the operation and general welfare of the University.

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