Child development center groundbreaking, undergraduate research program highlight events

CLEMSON — Clemson University’s board of trustees participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new child development center before convening the full board for its quarterly meeting Friday afternoon.

Clemson University trustees lift ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt at the groundbreaking for the Child Development Center.

Clemson University trustees lift ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt at the groundbreaking for the Child Development Center.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

The 12,700-square-foot child care facility, located on the main campus at S.C. Highway 93 and Seneca Creek Road near the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Center, will be operated by a private, third-party provider for infant, toddler and preschool children.

Prior to the full board’s meeting, eight standing committees focused their sessions on the week’s theme of “Efficiency,” with university administration providing updates on continued efforts to operate the university in an efficient manner. Examples shown included Tanju Karanfil, vice president for research, highlighting a 92 percent growth in research awards from 2013 to 2018 with only an 8 percent growth in faculty during the same period; Steven Crump, associate vice president and controller, demonstrated new facility-use technology designed to maximize use of available instructional space; and Student Affairs consolidated positions and functions resulting in $500,000 in savings, which have been reassigned to campus safety.

“The whole point of driving efficiency is so we can reinvest in the student experience,” board Chairman Smyth McKissick said.

During the full board meeting, Clemson University President James P. Clements presented his quarterly update highlighting recent successes, including January’s College Football Playoff National Championship and Clemson’s recognition as a Beckman Scholar institution. As part of the Beckman Scholar Program, Clemson is one of 13 programs nationally receiving funding to provide undergraduates with a unique 15-month mentored laboratory research experience.

Members of the Women's Commission, who led the drive for the Child Development Center, lift shovels at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Members of the Women’s Commission, who led the drive for the Child Development Center, lift shovels at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Additionally, the board approved a new undergraduate Digital History emphasis area in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Digital history is an emergent area of importance in the discipline, providing new opportunities for historical research and communication. Available to history majors, the emphasis area will specify 12 credit hours out of the 27 credit hours required for the major. Students will learn to utilize technology to analyze and map large amounts of data and share historical information and exhibits more widely. Incorporating digital media into the practice, students will gain skillsets that are transferable to many areas of government, corporate and nonprofit work.

The board also entered into a collaboration agreement with the Medical University of South Carolina creating a framework to manage current and future projects between the two universities. Together the universities focus on serving the state through shared research acumen and delivery of innovative, solutions-oriented programs. The collaboration agreement provides a framework for managing various joint projects and includes a board level liaison component to provide strategic guidance to both administrations.