University of Southern Indiana

Dean's Biography

Dr. Gordon

Dr. Scott A. Gordon has been serving as Dean of the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education since spring, 2005. As Dean, he provides leadership for the College and is responsible for all aspects of College operations including: guiding the acquisition and use of College resources; providing leadership in formulating and executing College policies; making decisions and recommendations on all College appointment, tenure, and promotion matters; evaluating the effectiveness of the College's curriculum and programs; and serving as official College spokesperson both inside and outside the University. Prior to accepting the position of Dean, Dr. Gordon served as Associate Dean from 2001 until spring 2005.

Under Dr. Gordon’s leadership, the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education completed its first-ever strategic plan which has provided a roadmap to the College's broad impact and success. Since 2005, the College has seen unprecedented growth and accomplishments in many areas, including: student enrollment, retention, faculty lines, new programs, grant awards/support, facility renovations, construction of new facilities, equipment upgrades and acquisitions, and the establishment of many engagement and outreach programs.

Since taking the helm the Pott College has seen unprecedented growth in student majors. At the same time, the College has seen tremendous improvement in retention of majors. Under Dr. Gordon's leadership, several new programs and majors have developed, including Advanced Manufacturing, Biochemistry, Mechatronics, Industrial Engineering, Actuarial Science, and Environmental Science. 

In 2006, Dr. Gordon spearheaded the effort to become the southwest Indiana leader in STEM education by developing a proposal to become the regional partner in the Indiana STEM (ISTEM) Network. In 2007, USI and the Pott College were named as the southwest Indiana partner in the ISTEM network. Upon this designation, the College established the Southwest Indiana STEM Resource Network (SwISTEM) - the outreach and professional development arm of the College. The SwISTEM Resource Center has succeeded in obtaining over $2 million in funding over the last two years. The SwISTEM Center holds dozens of professional development workshops each year and lends research grade science, math, and engineering equipment to schools throughout southwest Indiana through the development of STEM lending trucks. Since 2008, the SwISTEM resource center has provided professional development to over 500 teachers and has impacted tens of thousands of students. 

Since taking the helm as Dean, Dr. Gordon has been instrumental in attaining over $10 million in support for program and equipment needs for the University and Pott College. Over $3 million has been obtained for purchase of advanced manufacturing and engineering equipment for the Advanced Manufacturing Center and the $31 million Business and Engineering Center. In addition, he led the effort in obtaining a $1.2 million NSF STEP Grant award that developed an Early Undergraduate Research Program and the highly successful Pathways Leading to Success in the Sciences (PLUSS) Program to increase student retention in the STEM disciplines. 

In July 2011, as a result of University reorganization, the Departments of Teacher Education and Physical Education merged with the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education under Dr. Gordon's leadership. The merger resulted in a doubling of the size of the Pott College in terms of the number of faculty, students, and programs of study. The Pott College currently enrolls over 2400 students in over 40 academic programs areas. In addition, the Pott College employs over 220 faculty within the 7 academic departments. Since the merger, Dr. Gordon has been instrumental in reorganizing Teacher Education, establishing a university-wide Teacher Education Council, and is currently working with Teacher Education and local school corporations to develop new and innovative undergraduate and graduate teacher training programs.

Dr. Gordon's has been active in research related to higher education issues. His work is related to better understanding policies, procedures, and practices used by colleges and universities in institutionalizing a broader view of faculty work through the four domains of scholarship advanced by Ernest Boyer, a national voice in American education who served as president of the Carnegie Foundation, United States Commissioner of Education, and chancellor of the State University of New York. Boyer describes scholarship beyond an emphasis on scholarship of discovery, to include the scholarships of integration, application, and teaching. Dr. Gordon has researched a variety of higher education issues including: student evaluations of teaching; utilization, impact, and implications of course management systems; and faculty revitalization and professional development. His works have been presented and published in nationally and internationally recognized journals. Dr. Gordon, a mycologist, has published numerous research papers in national and international journals, presented papers at professional conferences, and has received numerous research grants.

Since arriving at USI in 1994 as an Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr. Gordon worked through the ranks to achieve the title of Professor of Biology in 2005. Throughout his tenure at USI, he has been active in developing and establishing a variety of key University programs, such as the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (now the Center for Academic Creativity), the University Honors Program, and the University Research, Innovation, Scholarship, and Creativity (RISC) Program (now the Endeavor Program). From 1997-2002, Dr. Gordon served as co-coordinator of the Presidential Scholar Program, a prestigious scholarship program reserved for the top students from throughout Indiana. He has taught courses in plant biology, mycology, and environmental science at USI.

Dr. Gordon has also been actively involved with intercollegiate athletics, having served as the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) faculty athletic representative for USI from 2000-2010. As athletic representative, he oversaw the academic eligibility standards of the 13 varsity sports in the USI Intercollegiate Athletics program. During this time, he was named an NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative Fellow in 2005. As a fellow, he was instrumental in developing policy and practice for faculty athletic representatives across the United States and was instrumental in working to develop and pass NCAA legislation. Dr. Gordon has held the office of Vice President of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference and from 2005 to 2010 served as the Conference Treasurer.

Among his honors is a 2002 award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology from the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. He has served as chair of the Indiana Academy of Sciences, Science Education Section, and chair of the Indiana Academy of Sciences, Botany Section.

A native of Malone, New York, Dr. Gordon received his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Cortland and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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