Susan Elrod

Chancellor, Indiana University South Bend

Susan Elrod began as the sixth chancellor of Indiana University South Bend on July 1, 2019. As Chancellor, she leads the university in achieving its mission to serve the communities of Northcentral Indiana. Elrod has more than a decade of higher education leadership experiences that include serving 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). She has published articles on leadership development, models of leadership and institutional change, quantitative reasoning, and interdisciplinary program development. She continues her national work in projects that focus on leadership of institutional systemic change in higher education. Recent projects include 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 also recently elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Talk title

Fostering Campus Systemic Change in Support of Physics Student Success


AIP societies and other STEM organizations have articulated goals for change in order to improve the recruitment, retention and success of underrepresented students. These goals include fostering a sense of belonging, building an identity as a scientist, supporting their educational journey in and out of the classroom, attending to financial and other stresses in their lives, and, ultimately, creating environments, programs and institutional infrastructure needed to help these students thrive. In order to do so, campus leaders must take a systemic approach to engage departments and programs across their organizations as these goals encompass units outside the physics department. In other words, they must lead with a systemic change approach. Campuses are complex systems of people, policies, and politics. Leading systemic change in these environments requires an understanding of the structures and dynamics operating within their campus “system” (and perhaps beyond in the case of public systems of higher education) and the tools to affect change positively. In this session, society leaders will learn more about the dynamics, levers and models for leading change in higher education systems and how to help society members successfully lead systemic change efforts on their campuses.