Susan Elrod began as the sixth chancellor of Indiana University South Bend on July 1, 2019. She came to IU South Bend from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater where she served as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
As a leader, she has led strategic planning and enrollment management planning efforts as well as programs to improve faculty diversity and salary equity, revitalize support for research, launch new data systems, and implement new technological innovations. At UW-Whitewater, she led the university’s restructuring team to incorporate UW-Rock County as a new branch campus.
Previous experience includes serving as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Chico (Chico State) and as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State). At Fresno State, she led initiatives that enhanced support for research, expanded community and industry connections, and improved persistence of students in STEM programs. She was principal investigator of a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant that supported the redesign of introductory science and mathematics courses through a faculty-led learning community framework. She also created a new advising center in the College of Science and Mathematics in partnership with Student Affairs to improve student retention.
Prior to her work at Fresno State, Dr. Elrod served as Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC. During her tenure at PKAL, she led several multi-campus, national STEM education initiatives that focused on interdisciplinary learning, sustainability, and STEM student transfer success. She also expanded PKAL's national program of regional faculty networks and led PKAL's Summer Leadership Institute for emerging faculty leaders in the STEM disciplines. She continues to serve as a Senior Scholar at AAC&U.
She has published articles on leadership development, models of leadership and institutional change, quantitative reasoning, and interdisciplinary program development. She continues her work as a national leader in projects that focus on leadership of institutional systemic change in higher education as a scholar, leader, project advisor, and consultant. Recent engagements include a leader in the Accelerating Systemic Change Network’s Systemic Change Institute, advisor to the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership project, founder of the Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research, and member of a National Research Council committee report on Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate STEM Education.
She was a postdoctoral fellow at Novozymes, Inc. in Davis, CA and holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. in Biological Science from California State University, Chico.