Daily Egyptian

Interim Provost Ford to retire Friday

Susan Ford signs papers in her office Tuesday allowing students to continue enrollment at SIU.

Susan Ford signs papers in her office Tuesday allowing students to continue enrollment at SIU. "I've been here many years and I'm still learning a lot," Ford said, who was appointed as interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Ford may officially be appointed at the September SIU Board of Trustees meeting.Ian Mullen • Daily Egyptian

By Brian Muñoz

Susan Ford will retire from her position as interim provost when her contract is up on Friday.

Associate Provosts Lizette Chevalier and David Dillala will be splitting the provost’s responsibilities for the time being, according to an email sent by Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell to faculty members June 24.

Ford said she originally intended to stay one more year, but with the ongoing chancellor search she thought it was best to let the chancellor candidates and SIU President Randy Dunn decide if it was time to transition to a new provost.

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“I want to make sure that people don’t think I am retiring because of my health or because of the university ‘being in trouble,’” Ford said. “I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do help shape things towards a better future. I know there will be great people that come after me that will continue to move [the university] forward.”

Dunn’s receptionist said he was unavailable for comment early Tuesday afternoon.

Ford said she had the option of staying at the university as a faculty member, but for family and financial reasons she chose not to.

During her tenure as provost, Ford said she spent half her time addressing enrollment and retention rates and rebuilding the university’s reputation.

The two-year state budget impasse has caused potential faculty and students to look at other universities for employment and higher education, Ford said.

“Faculty, the teaching brains of the university, are tending to take jobs when they’re offered in other states,” Ford said. “That’s not unique to Carbondale – that’s happening to all of the state institutions.”

Ford plans to spend her retirement traveling, spending time with family and engaging in academic research.

She said she encourages the incoming provost to “take their vitamins” and enjoy the ride.

“People tell you as you age you should learn a language to keeps your brain sharp,” Ford said. “Being a provost is like that on steroids.”

Staff writer Brian Muñoz can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @brianmmunoz. 

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