CSU, Chico News

Elrod Declines Permanent Provost Position

Date: 08-25-2015

The following message was emailed to campus on August 25, 2015, updating the information in the August 21, 2015 news release below.

TO: Campus Community
FROM: Paul J. Zingg, President
RE: Susan Elrod

Upon giving further consideration to my offer to serve as the permanent provost of our University, Susan Elrod has informed me that she will decline that appointment. I accept and support her decision. Susan will continue as our interim provost this academic year. The timing of the search for the University’s next provost will enable the next president to participate fully in the selection of this critical institutional leader. That process will follow the guidelines and principles we have in place on our campus governing such matters.

In making the decision to remain as our interim provost, Susan demonstrates the kind of admirable qualities – loyalty, ability, integrity, magnanimity – that I noted about her in my communication to the campus a few days ago. I hope our campus appreciates these qualities as much as I have as we go forward. We have much to address and accomplish this year and I’m glad that Susan will be a part of our work together.

Elrod Named Permanent Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Date: 08-21-2015

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico President Paul Zingg announced today, Aug. 21, that he was appointing Susan Elrod as permanent provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, effective immediately. Elrod was appointed interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs in October 2014, replacing Belle Wei, who had resigned from the position in September 2014Zingg announced yesterday in his fall Convocation address that he would be retiring at the end of the academic year and a search for his replacement would commence soon. In a message to faculty and staff today, Zingg said, “It is simply neither healthy nor wise for an institution to be searching for a new president and a new provost at the same time.”

If the University waited for the new president to conduct a search for a permanent provost, Zingg said, it could mean a significant extension of the time Elrod serves in an interim capacity, adding, “the campus cannot reasonably expect to retain anyone, or to ask anyone, to serve as an interim in a senior leadership position for more than a year or two, much less three or four.”

Having stability in the Office of Provost, Zingg said, would also strengthen the University’s position attracting and retaining the best deans and other leaders in Academic Affairs.

Zingg said Elrod has provided strong evidence that she is ready to become provost on a permanent basis. “She enjoys positive relationships and trust with the leadership of the Academic Senate and the campus CFA (California Faculty Association),” he said. “She has strong support among the Council of Deans and has already successfully concluded searches for new deans. She is a respected member of cabinet and a visible, enthusiastic presence on our campus.”

Zingg also complimented Elrod on her ability to work with students, which he said was not surprising considering that Elrod, a 1986 CSU, Chico alumna, is a former AS president.

Elrod’s stature as a scholar is another benefit to CSU, Chico, Zingg said, noting, “Susan’s work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is recognized at the state and national levels, lending distinction to our campus and underscoring her credibility with our faculty and commitment to teaching.”

Zingg said he had discussed the decision to name Elrod as permanent provost with CSU Chancellor Timothy White, and he said he had the chancellor’s “full support and concurrence.”

Prior to returning to CSU, Chico as interim provost last fall, Elrod served as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University, Fresno. Before her dean appointment, she was a faculty member in the Biological Sciences Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for 15 years.

While holding a faculty position at Cal Poly, Elrod served in several leadership capacities, including associate dean for strategic initiatives (College of Science and Mathematics), special assistant to the provost, vice chair of the Academic Senate, director of the University Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education and assistant director of Cal Poly’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Elrod is also the former executive director of the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ Project Kaleidoscope, which establishes national goals and initiatives in undergraduate STEM fields. She earned her doctorate in genetics from UC Davis in 1995.

“I am honored to continue to serve my alma mater in the capacity of provost,” said Elrod. “As I begin this permanent position, my top priority will be to provide stability to the campus during this time of presidential transition. I care deeply about this institution, its people and the work we have been doing together over the last 10 months. I want to thank everyone for welcoming me to campus. Chico State is one of the best campuses in the West, and I look forward to continuing to work with the faculty, staff, students and community on advancing the University’s mission.”