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Economic Outlook

Jeff Rea’s Blog Post (Episode 1511)

December 18, 2019 (Updated: 9:14 AM)
Author Jeff Rea

About Jeff

Jeff Rea is currently the President & CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. Jeff has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in our region while working in areas such as Economic Development, Business Development, City Planning, Marketing, and Local Government. Jeff has a degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC and executive management continuing education work at the University of Notre Dame.

Welcome to my blog post related to our taping on our show about Ivy Tech and what’s happening on campus there. I sure appreciate your support of WNIT, Public Television (PBS), and our show!

If you are not familiar with the show, we hope you’ll make plans to join us each week as we bring you stories about the people, companies and communities driving economic growth in our region! If you want to take a look at some of our previous shows, their available at www.wnit.org/economicoutlook.

This week we continued our Higher Education theme (remember last week, we welcomed Ivy Tech Chancellor David Balkin) by welcoming new Indiana University South Bend Chancellor Susan Elrod to our show for a conversation about the important role higher education institutions play in driving our local economy. I big thank you to Indiana University for the information included in this blog post, I have included it here to help give you a better feel for Susan.

 The South Bend campus enrolls over 5,000 students annually, and offers degree programs in a wide variety of fields. Elrod began her term in South Bend in July as IU South Bend’s 6th Chancellor. Elrod has brought a strong background working for higher education institutions across the country and has really hit the ground running here in South Bend.

Elrod comes to South Bend from Wisconsin where she served as the provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She also is a nationally recognized leader and scholar in STEM higher education programs and institutional change.

Throughout her career, Elrod has been a champion of programs and initiatives that have led to greater student success, support for faculty and staff development, and the formation of productive and sustainable community partnerships. During her time at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Elrod used a shared leadership approach to implement the university's strategic plan, including enrollment management and student success initiatives. Those initiatives were geared toward increasing student recruitment, engagement, retention and graduation, as well as expanding UW-W's access mission to a broader population of students and adult learners. She has been a champion of faculty and staff development initiatives, community partnerships and sustainability efforts.

Elrod's previous experience includes serving as 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 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and director of Project Kaleidoscope at the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

IU South Bend is the largest regional campus of Indiana University, with more than 5,300 students, about 250 full-time faculty members, and nearly 750 full- and part-time staff members. The 80-acre campus has excellent academic programs, an active student life and growing residential life program, important capital improvement projects underway, and strong community engagement. IU South Bend offers more than 100 degree programs through five colleges and schools.

I really enjoyed our conversation on the show. We covered a wide variety of topics and really got to know Susan and IU South Bend much better. I hope after seeing the interview, you’ll share my excitement about the leadership she brings to campus. I suspect some of you may have already met her, she’s been everywhere and I think her time here will really elevate IU here in our community. The University plays such a critical role in responding to the educational, cultural and workforce needs of the region.

If you’d like to connect with IU South Bend, or learn more about the degree programs they offer, visit https://www.iusb.edu/. I also would encourage you to follow Susan on Twitter, you can find her @IUSBChancellor.

Your feedback is valuable, feel free to reach out anytime (jrea@sbrchamber.com)  with comments, compliments, criticisms, story ideas. I’ll do my best to get back you as soon as possible. Also, follow-us on facebook, Twitter (Jeff_Rea), or at WWW.WNIT.org/economicoutlook for all the latest info on the show.  Enjoy the show!