Simon Rhodes, Dean of the School of Science, was presented with an IUPUI 50th Anniversary Chancellor’s Medallion on May 17, 2019, in recognition of his outstanding leadership and service to the IUPUI campus, especially his dedication to IUPUI students, creating an environment that nurtures excellence and welcomes all, and conducting research at the highest levels that changes people’s lives for the better. The Chancellor’s Medallion was presented by Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson.
Named dean in 2011, Rhodes has advanced the School of Science in a number of strategic areas, including curriculum development, student success, and diversity and inclusion. During his tenure, the school established new degree programs in neuroscience and applied computer science and created eight new or site-established Indiana and Purdue University doctoral programs. The School of Science has received accreditation or reaccreditation for specialized programs, such as forensic and investigative science and clinical psychology.
Under Rhodes’ leadership, the school’s number of graduates has grown about 10 percent every year since 2012. At the same time, the number of science majors has increased by 28 percent. Rhodes spearheaded the effort to maintain and enhance the focus on high-impact practices that lead to student success, increased merit- and need-based scholarships for School of Science students, and also instituted a “last mile” scholarship to help students who experience hardship as they near the end of their studies.
A champion for diversity, Rhodes has consistently fostered a supportive and inclusive environment for underrepresented students in the School of Science. Shortly after becoming dean, Rhodes created the School of Science Diversity Council with the goal of increasing the number of minority graduates, the number of tenure-track female faculty, and the number of underrepresented minority faculty. Also under Rhodes’ leadership, the School of Science hosted a forum that honored outstanding female undergrads and showcased the Women in Science House, an on-campus residential living and learning community for female science students.
An award-winning professor, Rhodes is a recipient of the IU Trustees Teaching Excellence Award and the IU Teaching Excellence Recognition Award. He is active nationally on grant review panels for the National Science Foundation, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and National Institutes of Health Initiatives.
Prior to serving as dean, Rhodes was Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the IU School of Medicine. Before that, he was a professor at IUPUI for 10 years, first in the School of Science and then in the School of Medicine.
Rhodes earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Sheffield in England in 1984 and a Ph.D. from Purdue University’s biochemistry program in 1991. He came to IUPUI in 1995 as an assistant professor of biology.