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IUSB welcomes new chancellor

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- During her first week on the job, Indiana University South Bend’s new chancellor said she is excited to make a difference on campus and in the community. 

July 1 marked the start of Susan Elrod’s new role as the sixth chancellor of Indiana University South Bend. 

“Joining IU is a very exciting opportunity,” said Elrod. “The chancellor is essentially the CEO of the organization.” 

The university hired Elrod in March. 

“Everybody who works here is passionate about this place, passionate about helping students be successful,” said Elrod. 

Elrod most recently served as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Elrod previously worked as the interim provost at California State University-Chico, dean of science and mathematics at Fresno State, director of the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and executive director of Project Kaleidoscope at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. 

Prior to that, Elrod worked as a geneticist in the biotech industry. 

“What I’m most excited about as the new chancellor of IU South Bend is coming in and really being able to have that big impact on not only on the students, but the community that we’re in,” said Elrod.  

Elrod wants to use a scientific approach to create plans that promote the advancement of the university and South Bend community. 

“Once a scientist, always a scientist,” said Elrod. “I use a very evidence based approach to everything that I do. I was meeting with the faculty and I said, ‘Look, we’re going to gather data, we’re going to look at it, about our enrollment for example, and ask some questions, and then come up with some hypotheses, and then design some experiments, and do some tests, and eventually along the way we’ll make improvements.’” 

Elrod listed learning as much as she can about IUSB, becoming involved in the South Bend community, and focusing on IU’s Bicentennial Campaign as her immediate, top goals. 

“I think that as I understand both the campus and the community, we’ll be able to craft a better shared vision together,” said Elrod. 

The new chancellor believes that focus will help her address long term issues. 

In June, IU increased undergraduate in-state tuition by 2.5 percent and undergraduate out-of-state tuition by 3 percent for each of the next two school years at all of its campuses. 

“Every time that tuition goes up, we increase the amount of financial aid that we give out,”said Elrdo. “One thing that we’re looking deeply at the university here in South Bend is exactly how do we award financial aid. To whom and how much?” 

Enrollment numbers are another concern. 

According to the university’s website, the 5,214 students enrolled at IUSB in 2018 was the lowest enrollment has been since 1973. 

“We need to be looking very closely not only at the academic programs that we offer and are they as great as they should be... but are there programs for example that we’re not offering that maybe students in the community would be interested in,” said Elrod. 

Elrod hopes the university is able to move forward under her leadership. 

“I think bringing together my understanding of the university and the campus, my understanding of the community, I can better figure out how to bring the university into greater visibility and maybe even greater service to the community,” said Elrod. 

To learn more about Elrod, click here.

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