Tracy Clark cuts her cake at a farewell party at the Alumni Center on Wednesday.

Tracy Clark cuts her cake at a farewell party at the Alumni Center on Wednesday.
Image Credit: Pete Martin / College of Science

CLEMSON – They say that time flies – and in the case of Tracy Clark, truer words have never been spoken.

Clark said her goodbyes at a farewell party Wednesday afternoon after a four-month stint as Executive in Residence and Interim Chief of Strategy and Operations (CSO) for the College of Science.

“This moment arrived even faster than the two of us predicted,” said Cynthia Y. Young, Dean of the College of Science. “But in just a short time, Tracy has left a mark on our College that will not be forgotten. I would like to thank Tracy for all she has done for the College of Science and for all of us here who are better because of her time with us. I thank her for sharing her talent and experience – and her kindness.”

Clark came to Clemson from the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she is currently the Associate Provost for Budget, Planning and Administration and Associate Vice President for Finance. At UCF, Clark oversees all finance and accounting operations of the university and several direct support organizations. She will return to her duties at UCF on Monday.

College of Science Dean Cynthia Y. Young presents Tracy Clark with a parting gift.

College of Science Dean Cynthia Y. Young presents Tracy Clark with a parting gift.
Image Credit: Pete Martin / College of Science

At Clemson, Clark worked in the Dean’s office from Nov. 29 through March 28. As Executive in Residence, she shared UCF’s best practices with Clemson – and will take Clemson’s best practices back to UCF. Clark’s successor, Liliana Gehring, joined the College on March 5 as CSO.

“First, I just want to say thank you for all the time and patience you gave me while I was here,” Clark said during a spirited going-away party at the Alumni Center. “In a four-month period, it’s difficult to try to climb the ladder on the one side when it feels like you’re sliding down the ladder on the other. It was important to me to come in and bring as much as I could as fast as I could in support of Dean Young. The College of Science has a lot of momentum, a lot of talented people, a lot of strong ideas, and a lot of challenges. But I think I’ve left you in great hands with Lili.”

“It has been an honor to learn from and work with Tracy these past three weeks,” Gehring said. “She has made significant contributions in a short four months. I will continue to build on what she started.”

Lilianna Gehring (second from right) is the College's new CSO.

Liliana Gehring (second from right) is the College’s new CSO.
Image Credit: Pete Martin / College of Science

A major part of Clark’s position was dedicated to leading business and administrative management in the College of Science. Clark helped secure additional revenues for the College, while optimizing the impact of revenues currently available. She also led the development and implementation of policies and practices that support excellence in the College. Gehring will follow in Clark’s footsteps.

“When I arrived here at Clemson, I realized that our team – especially me – would benefit from Tracy’s tremendous financial acumen, her ability to coach others, and her positive path down obstacle-filled roads,” Young concluded. “She possesses the rare skill of being able to be at 30,000 feet and help people make very strategic institutional decisions, as well as being able to drill right down to the details and help everyone in every unit be more efficient. She’s leaving Clemson in a better place than she found us.”