College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Dean’s Corner: January 2023


Dear Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

I can’t wait to tell you why I am bursting with pride over the research productivity of our faculty, but first, some background.

In 2015, Clemson joined the ranks of the universities in the United States that are designated as “R1” according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. “R1” applies to Doctoral Universities that engage in “very high research activity.” It is the highest classification and designates Clemson as one of the 146 most prestigious universities in the nation.

R1 applies to universities that offer the full range of baccalaureate programs, are committed to graduate education through to the doctorate, and make research a high priority.

Every college at Clemson contributes to the R1 standing. In CAAH, we currently have three doctoral programs, with a fourth in Construction Science that has made its way through all the levels at Clemson and is currently awaiting final approval at the Commission on Higher Education.

In addition to doctoral education, the research activity and productivity of faculty are equally vital in securing and maintaining the coveted R1 standing. So, recruiting and retaining top faculty and ensuring they have the time and resources needed to engage in their research is key.

Depending on the discipline, the ways in which faculty engage in research and the ways in which success is measured differs widely. This is especially true in CAAH, with its kaleidoscopic range of pursuits, from technical to professional to creative to theoretical.

One area that is relatively easy to judge is grant awards. Engineering and science tend to lead at Clemson, and elsewhere, in part because the dollar amounts of the awards dwarf those in other fields. So, it is a point of tremendous pride to share that, just in the last quarter of 2022, CAAH faculty succeeded in being awarded close to $7 million in grants!

Two of the grants went to projects in our Architecture + Health program, led by principal investigator Anjali Joseph, who holds the Spartanburg Regional Health System Endowed Chair. One of the projects concerns the design of emergency departments to improve the safety and experience of children with mental and behavioral health conditions. The other project is for the design and evaluation of critical patient care spaces such as patient rooms for an extremely large and brand-new hospital in downtown Indianapolis. The total grants for the two projects exceed $2.5 million and might end up being closer to $4 million.

On the Humanities side, we’re celebrating a $200,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant for a Summer Institute to bring in scholars to Clemson from around the country to study new research into archival scholarship. The project will be led by Susanna Ashton and Rhondda Thomas in partnership with colleagues at Furman University. $200,000 is a massive grant in the Humanities, and I’m happy to say that a much larger multi-million dollar humanities grant is pending, and I can hardly wait to announce it.

All of which goes to say: this is a pretty spectacular result for a mere quarter of a year and makes CAAH faculty among the superstars of the Clemson research enterprise.

Go Tigers!

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Dean
College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Follow Dean Vazsonyi on Twitter and Instagram.

Want to Discuss?

Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.

Or email us at

    This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.