Susan Elrod


Bicentennial Medal (2019)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (2019)
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Indiana University South Bend


Susan Elrod earned her B.S. in Biological Science from California State University, Chico and her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Novozymes, Inc. in Davis, CA before beginning a career in science education and administration.

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 subsequently served as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 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 UW-Whitewater, she led the university's restructuring team to incorporate UW-Rock County as a new branch campus. 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 and advising center collaboration.

In 2019, Elrod became the sixth chancellor of Indiana University South Bend. She has published articles on leadership development, models of leadership and institutional change, quantitative reasoning, and interdisciplinary program development. She has served as co-leader of the Accelerating Systemic Change Network's Systemic Change Institute, advisor to the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership project, founder of the inaugural 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 elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2019.