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Clemson Board of Trustees Approve Two New Centers, New Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science


Winter Quarterly Meetings also featured groundbreaking of new Alumni and Visitors Center, approval of facilities projects, and updates on student support and University impact

The 2023 Winter Quarterly Meetings of the Clemson Board of Trustees were held February 2-3 on Clemson’s main campus, and approvals were granted for the development of a pair of new academic centers, several program modifications and multiple facilities projects­­. The Board also reviewed and approved a feasibility study on the establishment of a new college for veterinary medicine and approved a statement on free speech.

The Compensation Committee of the Board also approved the hiring of Felicia Benton-Johnson as the University’s new Vice President for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. Benton-Johnson previously served as assistant dean and director of the College of Engineering’s Center for Engineering Education and Diversity at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). 

Prior to the official start of meetings, trustees attended a groundbreaking for the new Alumni and Visitors Center, which will be adjacent to the James F. Martin Inn and Madren Center. The new building will house some of the University’s most visible partners and programs, including the Clemson Alumni Association, Class of 1944 Visitors Center, the Board of Trustees office, advancement, the Clemson University Foundation, admissions and the Michelin Career Center.

During committee meetings spread over two days and the full board meeting on Friday, February 3, the board received updates from Clemson President James P. Clements and senior University leadership about ongoing research, education, student support, fundraising and statewide outreach.


Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research 

  • Conducts research on the prevalence, prevention and intervention of addiction and mental health conditions to inform policy and practice that prevents and reduces the harms of these public health problems. 
  • Strengthens the ability of faculty members to compete for funding in these emerging and rapidly expanding fields. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research will expand faculty collaboration to promote externally funded research in the areas of addiction and mental health. 
  • Offers opportunities for student engagement in research and clinical opportunities, fostering skills that will improve student success in graduate school and the workforce.

Center for Public Health Modeling, Preparedness and Response

  • Develops modeling frameworks to assist health care professionals with decision-making in diagnostics, treatment and resource allocation.
  • Addresses critical, statewide need for data-driven approaches in patient care
  • Outcomes include developing Clemson Rural Health data registry, publishing modeling frameworks and building organizational partnerships.

Master of Music Education to address the predicted 12.3 percent growth in the number of positions available for art, drama and music teachers between 2020 and 2030.

Bachelor of Science in Data Science to meet the high market demand for data scientists and professionals. 


  • Lease of Space in Greenville: Approval to enter into a lease for space in Greenville on the CU-ICAR Campus for CECAS in support of the University’s research contract with the Department of Defense, which supports Clemson’s Virtual Prototype of Ground Systems Center while also accommodating space for CECAS’s Center for Workforce Development and University Professional Programs.
  • Old Stone Church/Cherry Road Right-of-way Acquisition: Approval to provide a 0.64-acre right-of-way to SCDOT at no cost to improve intersection safety and alleviate traffic congestion. Costs for construction is to be shared between the University, the City of Clemson and SCDOT with funding identified.
  • CURF Property Acquisitions in Pendleton: Approval to acquire two properties from the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF): 
  • 1.39 acres located on Westinghouse Road immediately adjacent PSA’s Regulatory Services Building. 
  • 1.1 acres on Computer Court immediately adjacent to CU’s Information Technology Center.
  • Women’s Sports Program Expansion Funding Change: Approval to change the funding structure from bonds and cash to all cash to preserve debt capacity for future projects.
  • Performance and Wellness Core – PHASE I: Approval to invest $50m to renovate approximately 14,000 square feet of an existing 51-year-old space while adding a 50,000-square-foot addition for volleyball, sports medicine, nutrition, and strength and conditioning.
  • Chiller Plant Expansion and Upgrades: Approval for phase 2 and bond resolution for the chiller plant expansion, which supports continued campus growth by proactively developing chiller capacity to support central campus building cooling and upcoming CPIP projects. The project further supports new buildings coming online, such as Lehotsky replacement, Advanced Materials Innovation Center, and Performance and Wellness Core.

Guest speakers included:

  • Brian Powell, 2022 Clemson Researcher of the Year and this year’s recipient of the Class of ’39 Award. His research is helping form the technical basis for designing repositories to store spent fuel from nuclear power plants and to clean up sites contaminated by nuclear-weapons production. 
  • Will Whitley, a member of Clemson’s Industry Advisory Board and director of state, local government affairs and community relations for Michelin. Clemson was one of three universities selected by Michelin this year to form a University Partnership Strategic Working Team. The team will work to identify collaborative opportunities with key strategic University partners. Clemson’s Michelin Career Center is consistently ranked as one of the best nationally.
  • Dr. Lesslie Pekarek of Redfern Health Center shared information on the University’s medical services division, highlighting the current state of student health care provided on campus, patient satisfaction data, and she identified areas of opportunity and action committed to improvement.
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