CLEMSON — Joseph Turner Jr., an emeritus professor of computer science at Clemson University, has received the highest award bestowed by the accrediting body for university science and engineering programs.

Turner received the Linton E. Grinter Distinguished Service Award at the 2011 annual meeting of ABET, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

Turner, a creator and founding chairman of the Seoul Accord for worldwide computing accreditation, was cited for “outstanding leadership in computing accreditation worldwide… and for being a catalyst behind the growth of computing accreditation in the United States over the last 25 years.”

A multilateral agreement among agencies from eight nations, the Seoul Accord established mutual recognition for accreditation of undergraduate computing and IT-related programs.

Turner has taken leadership positions in the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB) since 1986 and in ABET since the two organizations integrated in 2000. He was on ABET's Computing Accreditation Commission and a member-at-large on the commission's Executive Committee. He was named a Fellow of ABET in 2007.

Turner joined Clemson in 1975 as an assistant professor of mathematical sciences; he retired as a professor of computer science in 2000. He was head of the Clemson computer science department from 1978 to 1992.

After retiring from Clemson, he was a dean and professor at Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, until 2004.

He became a member of ABET's Accreditation Council Training Committee in 2008 and chaired the committee from 2009 to 2011. He also was a representative to the International Federation for Information Processing and a member of its council, and was on the editorial boards of three academic journals.

He was vice president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), president of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, chairman of the ACM Education Board and a member of the boards of directors of the Computing Research Association, the National Educational Computing Association and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.

Turner received bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Georgia Tech and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Maryland.