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CU Grow partners with Extension, Athletics and Facilities staff development programs


One of Clemson University’s premier staff development programs, CU Grow, announced a new partnership with Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative (EELI), CUADvance Athletics and the Facilities Leadership and Management Program.

Each program partnering with CU Grow provides unique development opportunities for its employees to grow personally and professionally while preparing them to advance their leadership skills, build a strong network of colleagues and identify workflow solutions to create increased efficiencies and improved service.

CU Grow

In two years, CU Grow has established itself as a premier staff development program in the state. The intensive one-year program is designed to provide a development framework to support Clemson University staff’s personal and professional growth. The program, which accepts applicants from any University department, graduated its first cohort in August 2021 and introduced its second in October. Jaz Hamilton-Allen, the program’s founder and lead, is excited about the opportunity for cross-collaboration with other departments at Clemson.

“I am thrilled about this unique opportunity to collaborate with other departments equally committed to developing our staff. Building a bridge between programs will enhance opportunities for individuals across the University who have a strong desire for growth. Professional development requires accommodating various needs, interests and skill levels. By partnering with EELI, CUADvance, and the Facilities Leadership and Management Program, we can better serve our cohorts and the University community.”

Jaz Hamilton-Allen, CU Grow founder

Extension Emerging Leadership Initiative (EELI)

Clemson Cooperative Extension, which operates across the state in 46 counties, has firsthand knowledge of the benefits of staff development for its employees. Inspired by her participation in the President’s Leadership Institute (PLI), Deon Legette created EELI in 2018 for Extension professionals dedicated to fulfilling their mission of improving the quality of life for all South Carolinians through various outreach programs.

The program lasts 18 months, with each cohort having up to 20 professionals with a minimum of three years of experience with Extension. The second cohort recently completed class requirements and graduated on April 6.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity as Extension partners with CU Grow and the other amazing leadership programs at the University. The partnership will allow us to invest more in our leaders and develop them for their current and future roles. The sharing of ideas and collaborative training and activities will have significant benefit for the University.”

 -Deon Legette, Midlands District Extension director

CUADvance Athletics

As professionals seek to learn new skills in their field and experience more development opportunities, Clemson Athletics is addressing those needs by creating CUADvance.

This new 10-month program, sponsored by Director of Athletics Graham Neff, aims to foster opportunities for an annual cohort of employees who are early in their careers. The program features a core curriculum led by athletic partners AMPLOS and other athletics-centric speakers who can enhance employee skills and create opportunities for growth in collegiate athletics through personal development programs, industry exposure, networking opportunities and more. CUADvance is coordinated by Kyle Young, Jordy Kirr and Henry Archuleta.

“Professional development is critical to our department, and we have had a tremendous response so far to CUADvance, which specifically targets those beginning their careers in athletics. Many of our staff have had valuable experiences within the CU Grow program, the President’s Leadership Institute, and within their respective professional organizations. We are grateful to be part of an institution that invests so deeply in professional development and those who work here.”

Graham Neff, director of Athletics

Facilities Leadership and Management Program

A tenant of CU Grow is maximizing the potential of staff employees at Clemson through challenging and cultivating creativity from its cohorts. The newly created Facilities Leadership and Management Program also aims to maximize employees’ potential and create avenues for future leaders.

The program provides Facilities employees with the customized knowledge, skills and practical experience to be well-equipped as department leaders. The development program will be tied to its Career Progressions to serve as a blueprint for staff development. By partnering with CU Grow, University Facilities seeks to grow its programming through the creation more staff opportunities. Haley Cox, workforce safety and development training coordinator, oversees the program.

“There’s much excitement within University Facilities as we launch our development programs and Career Progressions. We have been intentional in our partnership with Human Resources and CU Grow to ensure our programs complement and not duplicate development efforts and prepare our staff for this amazing growth opportunity within the University.”

Haley Cox, workforce safety and development training coordinator, University Facilities

Collaboration through Partnerships

Hamilton-Allen is pleased with the new partnerships and CU Grow’s development efforts across the state. With Clemson recognized as one of the nation’s top employers in recent years, Hamilton-Allen aims for CU Grow to become a professional development model for other institutions nationwide. She said increasing collaboration across the University through partnerships with other professional development programs is an excellent first step toward accomplishing that goal.

“Through this partnership, University development programs can offer more streamlined experiences that reduce inter-program redundancy and duplication while simultaneously creating curriculums that complement each other.”

Jaz Hamilton-Allen