December 05, 2012

Susan Ford tapped as Graduate School director

by Pete Rosenbery

Susan Ford

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Susan M. Ford, professor and interim chair of anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is the University’s new associate dean and director of the Graduate School.

Ford, a full-time faculty member since 1980, began her duties Nov. 19.  Her appointment is subject to approval by the SIU Board of Trustees at its Dec. 13, meeting in Carbondale.

“I’m very excited about the opportunities to continue my career-long commitment to furthering graduate education and helping graduate students,” she said.  “My primary goal is to improve student success: attracting more of the strongest and most promising students to the University, making their pathway to achieving excellent training and research opportunities more clear, and smoothing their efforts to earn a degree.”

A physical anthropologist, Ford’s research focuses on the functional anatomy, biogeography, and evolutionary relationships of South American primates.  Currently, Ford is also researching the slow loris, a small, nocturnal primate in Borneo. She and her colleagues have made some new discoveries about the slow loris that will change the way the species is studied and classified.

After beginning at SIU Carbondale as a visiting instructor in 1979, Ford was an assistant professor from 1980 to 1986, associate professor from 1986 to 2012, and promoted to professor earlier this year.  She was chair in the Department of Anthropology from 2005 to 2011. She is also a member of the graduate faculty.

Ford, a native of Fayetteville, N.Y., earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Roanoke College in Salem, Va., and her doctorate in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh.