SFA Regents select presidential finalist

Eastern Washington University Provost Scott Gordon tapped for top spot

NACOGDOCHES – The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents unanimously named Dr. Scott Gordon, a first-generation college student who became provost of Eastern Washington University, as sole finalist for SFA president.

A native of Malone, New York, Gordon received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Cortland. He earned a master’s degree and doctorate in botany and mycology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and holds certifications from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in educational management and leadership.

As EWU provost, Gordon is the university’s chief academic officer, overseeing more than 500 faculty members in six academic colleges, with responsibility for academic policy and planning, distance education, international programs and institutional research.

Gordon led a complete reorganization of EWU’s Academic Affairs unit, led the development and implementation of the university’s strategic plan in 2018 and developed partnerships with community colleges, business and industry, as well as government entities. This work was highlighted by a unique partnership with Microsoft and the collaboration with multiple businesses on The Catalyst, a 140,000-square-foot facility in downtown Spokane.    

Prior to joining Eastern Washington, Gordon spent 22 years at the University of Southern Indiana, where he served as dean of the Pott College of Science, Engineering and Education. In addition, Gordon served for 10 years as the Faculty Athletics Representative, was named a NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative Fellow, and was vice president and treasurer of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, which includes 14 NCAA Division II institutions.  

I am honored to be named sole finalist for the position of president at Stephen F. Austin State University,” Gordon said. “I look forward to the next steps in this process and the opportunity to work with the SFA Board of Regents, university leadership, faculty, staff, students and the great community of Nacogdoches to build on the tradition of excellence at SFA.”

Gordon called the opportunity to serve as a leader at SFA a “dream come true.” 

I am deeply committed to the vision, mission and goals of SFA and believe my background and values are a great fit with the institution,” he said. “I look forward to joining the SFA family.

If confirmed by regents after the state-required 21-day waiting period, Gordon will become SFA’s ninth president, succeeding Dr. Baker Pattillo, who was SFA president from 2006 until his death in December 2018.

Before interviewing finalists for the presidency, Regents considered recommendations from a presidential screening committee that worked with an executive search firm, R. William Funk & Associates of Dallas, to review applications and meet with prospective candidates.

Alton Frailey, who chaired the search committee, said Gordon is an accomplished visionary who will lead SFA into its second hundred-year history.

Dr. Gordon has an outstanding track record in all aspects of academic leadership, from both student and faculty recruitment to core curriculum development and strategic planning,” Frailey said. “His vision for a student-centered education aligns with SFA’s values, and we look forward to introducing him to the campus and the community.”

Gordon is expected to attend a public reception from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Cole Art Center.