Annual meeting highlights accomplishments of Clemson faculty, staff

Clemson faculty, staff honored at annual meeting.

James Clements  

The achievements of Clemson University's faculty and staff were highlighted recently at the university's end-of-the-year meeting for the general faculty.

"Thanks to our increasing academic reputation and the national exposure of our recent success in athletics, the value of the Tiger Paw has never been higher," Clemson's President James Clements said.

Currently, Clemson is in the midst of a major construction project, part of which is the recently-opened Watt Family Innovation Center.

Also in progress at the university is the Clemson Forward strategic plan, a large part of which deals with diversity and inclusion.

“I was truly moved by the passion that we all saw for making Clemson a more inclusive place,” Clements said. “The (recent) sit-in led to several open forums and many conversations about campus climate, diversity and inclusion. In response to the sit-in, I issued a list of specific actions — with timelines — as we continue to strive to create an environment of inclusive excellence. We have made some tangible progress in terms of diversity in our student enrollment numbers and our faculty numbers over the past few years.”

Clements said since 2013 African-American undergraduate enrollment at Clemson has increased close to 13 percent, while Hispanic undergraduate enrollment has jumped 31 percent.

“We know that we have a lot of work to do in this area but I honestly believe we are moving in the right direction,” Clements said.

The last year also saw Clemson being designated as a Tier 1 research university in the Carnegie Classification for Institutions of Higher Education.

“This puts us among universities with the highest level of research activity, and this recognition raises our national profile which will help us recruit more world-class faculty and compete for more research funding,” Clements said.

The university has also had a record number of admission applications in the past year and is coming to the end of its $1 billion Will to Lead capital campaign.

“I am incredibly grateful to our donors, who have done so much to support our faculty, staff and students,” Clements said. “On April 6, we held our first ‘Give Day.’ The Clemson Family came together in an incredible way to donate more than $900,000. I was so proud to see all of this come together on very short notice.”

Awards of achievement were presented to Chris Heavner, a faculty adviser to Clemson’s Habitat for Humanity chapter and head pastor of Lutheran Campus Ministry (the Frank A. Burtner Award for Excellence in Advising); Bruce Martin, professor of turfgrass pathology in the department of entomology, soils, and plant sciences (the Godley-Snell Award for Agriculture Research); Psychology professor Thomas Britt (the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research); and Michael Sehorn, an associate professor in the genetics and biochemistry department (the Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry).

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