Susan Elrod serves as the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater (UW-W). Elrod uses a shared leadership approach to implement the university’s strategic plan, including enrollment management and student success initiatives that have already resulted in record high retention and graduation rates. She has supported new collaborative degree programs and other educational innovations that have enhanced opportunities for more students to succeed. Under Elrod’s executive sponsorship, UW-Whitewater is the first university in the Upper Midwest to implement a new mobile app geared towards increasing recruitment, engagement and retention. She also led efforts to integrate a local community college as a new branch campus, expanding UW-W’s access mission to a broader population of students and adult learners. Throughout her career, she has been a champion of effective student success programs, faculty and staff development initiatives, community partnerships, and sustainability efforts. She has raised over $8 million in federal and private funds to support research and educational initiatives.
Previously, she served as interim provost at Chico State, as a dean of science and mathematics at Fresno State, and as a faculty leader, assistant departmental chair, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and director of the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Elrod is also a nationally recognized leader and scholar in STEM higher education programs, leadership and institutional change. She served as Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, D.C. where she led national, multi-campus projects focused on improving access and success of students in STEM. She continues this work as a scholar in national projects that focus on models for leading and implementing sustainable institutional change. She also serves as a Senior Scholar at AAC&U and as a member of the HERS Board of Directors. After completing her PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, Elrod served as a postdoctoral fellow at Novozymes, Inc. in Davis, CA where she was an inventor on several patents. Her undergraduate degree is in Biological Sciences from California State University, Chico.