Clemson trustees endorse academic reorganization to support new strategic plan
CLEMSON — Clemson University’s Board of Trustees endorsed an academic reorganization to support the goals of a new strategic plan, essentially creating seven new colleges.
The approval of the reorganization comes nearly a year after President Jim Clements launched a strategic planning process that engaged hundreds of faculty, staff and students through committees, town meetings and online discussions. “This is a plan to move Clemson forward, to solidify our place among the nation’s great public, land-grant universities and to prepare for the next 50 years,” Clements said.
Clements called college reorganization a “key enabler” that will help academic units achieve national prominence. All existing schools and colleges are impacted by the reorganization, even if names of colleges don’t change. The new college structures, effective July 1, 2016, are:
- Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
- Architecture, Arts and Humanities
- Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
- Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences
The board approved an additional instructional site at the Greenville Health System (GHS) for the bachelor of science in nursing, for implementation in August 2016. The new site will allow for doubling of Clemson’s undergraduate nursing enrollment. Research indicates a strong market to support this growth. Tuition, fee revenues and an annual contribution from GHS will support this strategic expansion.
Trustees approved erecting three historical markers commemorating the role of the Cherokee nation, enslaved people and convict laborers in the early history of Clemson and the land on which it sits. The text to be placed on the markers will be finalized and reviewed by the university’s naming committee and the trustee task force, and then submitted to the State Department of Archives and History for approval. The markers will be located in the proximity of:
- Calhoun agricultural fields, to commemorate the role of Native Americans and enslaved people in the development of the land;
- Woodland Cemetery, to mark the earliest Calhoun family burial site as well as slave and convict laborer burial sites;
- The location of slave quarters and a stockade where convict laborers were housed while they worked to build the university’s first facilities.
The markers are part of a broader effort to tell the full story of Clemson’s history, as recommended by Clements in his previously announced diversity plan and supported by a new Trustee Task Force on the History of Clemson. The markers are the result of work by a faculty-driven ad hoc committee led by Rhondda Thomas, associate professor of English, with funding support from alumnus Jim Bostic and the university.
Clements also is leading efforts to help the trustee task force gather input from stakeholders through a website, small-group meetings and listening sessions. In an update on inclusion, Clements and interim Chief Diversity Officer Max Allen reported an 11 percent increase in African American freshman enrollment this semester, the appointment of a standing Diversity Advisory Council and the launch of a new Presidential Lecture Series beginning Oct. 14 as part of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Month.
Also approved was naming the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics lobby, located in the Harris A. Smith building, for the late Bob Testin, professor and department chair of the packaging science program during its initial creation and growth phase. Testin was also responsible for support and conception for the Sonoco Institute. The request is supported by a $400,000 private gift from Harris A. Smith.
The board approved placing a plaque at the base of Clemson Memorial Stadium’s flagpole to honor Clemson alumnus, professor and war hero, 97-year-old Ben Skardon, Class of 1938, a retired U.S. Army colonel, World War II prisoner of war and Bataan Death March survivor, Alumni Master Teacher and Alumni Distinguished Service Award recipient. The plaque will be funded by a $50,000 private gift from alumnus David Stalnaker.
Trustees also approved a $5 million budget for phase one concept design work for a facility to replace Sirrine Hall, which was built in 1938. The budget is funded through state appropriations designated specifically for the project.
Plans are for the 162,000-square-foot replacement facility to house business and related programs and provide space for outreach and research institutes. Construction of the new facility – to be funded through a combination of state appropriations, private gifts and institutional bonds – will allow Sirrine to be used as swing space during renovation of other aging campus facilities.
Trustees also selected John N. (Nicky) McCarter Jr., of Columbia to serve as vice chair for a two-year term. He became a trustee in 2008. McCarter graduated from Clemson in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in administration management, and he is president of Defender Services, Inc.
In other business, the board approved:
- a resolution to issue athletic facilities revenue bonds for $19.5 million to help fund a new football operations building;
- a 12-credit, four-hour course certificate for post-baccalaureate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) in teaching and learning at the University Center Greenville for fall 2016;
- a concentration in business analytics to the Masters of Business Administration – the first in state to provide a dedicated focus on large data analytics for graduate students — along with fees for the program of $34,900 total for the two-year program for in-state students and $43,560 for out-of-state students;
- tuition and fees for the Master of Science in Nursing of $8,500 per semester for in-state students and $15,000 per semester for out-of-state students;
- a request from the College of Engineering and Science to enter into a three-year lease of office space on the CU-ICAR Campus for the Clemson University Risk Engineering and System Analytics Center.