The 2023 Fall Quarterly Meetings of the Clemson Board of Trustees were held October 5-6 on Clemson’s main campus, and approvals were granted for Phase 1 of an on-campus parking garage, a University center dedicated to public health research to benefit the lives of South Carolina residents, academic program updates and various campus construction projects.
During committee meetings over two days and a full board meeting on Friday, October 6, the Board received updates from Clemson President James P. Clements and senior University leadership about ongoing research, education, student support, fundraising and statewide outreach. Updates and presentations centered around the University’s strategic plan — Clemson Elevate.
RECORD RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS
During the Research and Economic Development Committee meeting, board members were informed of the University’s record-setting FY2023 total competitive research awards, which increased by 78 percent to an all-time institutional high of $282 million.
The record award volume has been boosted by the receipt of numerous high-value grants, including the largest grant Clemson has ever received from a single agency — a $70 million award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — as well as a $20 million award from the U.S. Department of Transportation and a $20 million project from the National Science Foundation. During the fiscal year 2023, Clemson earned 27 awards valued at $2 million or more, bringing a combined $231 million to the University. Additionally, nine junior faculty have earned prestigious early career awards in fiscal year.
The Research and Education Committee also heard from two nationally-renowned Clemson researchers: Nathan McNeese, whose pioneering research focuses on artificial intelligence, and Ronnie Chowdhury, the director of the new National Center for Transportation Cybersecurity and Resiliency.
VICE CHAIR ELECTED
Chair Kim Wilkerson conducted an election for the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, with Trustee John N. “Nicky” McCarter Jr. of Columbia elected unanimously. McCarter graduated from Clemson with a Bachelor of Science in administrative management in 1980. McCarter was first elected to the Clemson University Board of Trustees by the General Assembly in 2008, and previously served as Vice Chair from 2013-2017.
NEW EXTENSION CENTER FOR HEALTH OUTREACH
The Board also approved the creation of the Clemson University Extension Center for Health Outreach (CU-ECHO). CU-ECHO seeks to accelerate health research and enhance the health of South Carolina residents with expanded collaboration among Clemson University and Cooperative Extension staff. These collaborations will drive applied research within local communities and accelerate the implementation of proven health innovations. The research and outreach facilitated through the center will address the state’s chronic health challenges, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
NEW MASTER OF EDUCATION PROGRAM
The Board granted approval for the creation of a Master of Education in Learning Sciences. Housed in the College of Education, the Master of Education in Learning Sciences is a 30-credit hour, online program that covers coursework in research concepts and skills, learning theory, human learning and assessment, instructional design of digital learning environments and effective online teaching and learning. The new program will be unique to South Carolina, aligns Clemson with nationally recognized R1 institutions and projects to begin accepting students in Fall 2024.
ON-CAMPUS PARKING GARAGE
The Board of Trustees provided initial approval for the design and construction of a multi-level parking facility located near the newly aligned Williamson Road to the east and Perimeter Road to the south. The facility will be located centrally near the new Alumni and Visitors Center and will provide high-density parking for students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors, athletic functions and prospective students on campus tours. Construction is planned to begin June 2025 with a completion date of December 2026.
ADDITIONAL FACILITIES PROJECTS
Three additional campus construction projects also received Phase 2 approval: the renovation of approximately 6,000-square feet in the McCarter Family IPTAY Center, a renovation of the Fernow Street Café Chick-fil-A space and a new forestry building.
COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE UPDATE
The Board received an update on the establishment of South Carolina’s first college of veterinary medicine. Dr. Steven Marks, founding dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, began his tenure in August, and the University has begun the accreditation and authorization processes through applicable agencies. Concept design for the new facility has begun, with anticipated construction to begin in the summer of 2024. With continued support from the South Carolina General Assembly, the University remains working toward a goal of enrolling its first students in Fall 2026.
CLEMSON EXPERIMENTAL FOREST LAND ETHIC ESTABLISHED
The Board also approved the Clemson Experimental Forest Land Ethic and an accompanying Management Framework to serve as guiding documents for the standardization of decision-making and establishment of appropriate protections for maintaining the viability and value of the Clemson Experimental Forest (CEF). The CEF remains a valuable resource for teaching, recreation, research, outreach and ultimately delivering Clemson’s land-grant mission and providing public good.