Office of the Provost; OUR Clemson

College of Education Founding Dean Petersen to leave position, transition to Provost Distinguished Professor role


George J. Petersen, professor and founding dean of the Clemson University College of Education, will step back from his role and transition to serve as Provost Distinguished Professor of Educational Innovation on the faculty, effective July 1. An interim dean will be appointed before the end of June and a national search for a new dean will be launched in the fall.

Petersen became founding dean of the College of Education in 2014. Under his leadership, the College has developed several innovative programs designed to facilitate teacher recruitment and retention, leadership development and economic expansion.

“The Clemson University College of Education has moved forward in every possible way during our time together,” Petersen said. “In every measure – from enrollment and degrees awarded to research, grants and philanthropic support – we have experienced growth and exhibited an excellence that is transforming the educational landscape. It’s been the great honor of my professional career to take part in this best-in-class work, and I look forward to contributing further in my new role.”

With Petersen’s guidance, the College has experienced unparalleled success. Over the last five years, undergraduate and graduate program enrollment has increased 37% and 105%, respectively – defying state and national trends. These programs have also been recognized for excellence on the national level, with the online M.Ed. in teaching and learning ranking among the top two national programs for five consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. Other online M.Ed. programs in the College are also highly ranked by U.S. News, including its curriculum and instruction (No. 8), educational administration (No. 13) and special education (No. 14) programs.

Dean Petersen has been a tremendous leader for the College of Education and Clemson University. His vision for the College, and dedication to our students, has positioned Clemson and the College of Education for continued success for years to come.

– Bob Jones, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

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