Office of the President; OUR Clemson

Lisa Hancock Knox named the assistant vice president and executive director of newly formed Office of Institutional Excellence


During the fall meeting of Clemson’s Board of Trustees, the University announced the establishment of a new Office of Institutional Excellence and the Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees approved Lisa Knox to head the office as assistant vice president and executive director.

Formation of the Office of Institutional Excellence

The Office of Institutional Excellence will be positioned in the Office of the President and work in collaboration with Executive Vice President and Provost Bob Jones and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tony Wagner to drive the following three collaborative efforts throughout the enterprise:

  • Strategic Alignment—Positioning all programs and work to advance the University’s strategic plan.
  • Operational Excellence—Assessing service functions, selecting Lean continuous improvement projects and deploying technology enhancements to significantly improve efficiencies and quality of services or work outcomes.
  • Operational Resilience—Building a resilient institution able to capitalize on and navigate risk through sound business operations, risk mitigation, academic and business continuity planning, IT governance, risk awareness and opportunity awareness. Operational Resilience will replace Enterprise Risk Management.

The Office of Institutional Excellence will facilitate and manage projects conducted by a team of central strategic project managers.

This new office will be the backbone of our strategic execution, helping us operationalize the strategic plan so all of our efforts are aligned towards reaching our goals. I look forward to working with Lisa in this new role as we continue to build the operational structure that will continue to propel Clemson to preeminence. 

President Jim Clements

About Lisa Hancock Knox

Since 2010, Lisa Hancock Knox has driven process improvement Lean efforts campus wide as the University’s director of strategy and operations in the Division of Finance and Operations.

A Georgia Institute of Technology graduate, from Pendleton, S.C., in 2012, Knox became an ASQ-certified Six Sigma Black Belt. She earned her MBA from Clemson University and is a past graduate of the President’s Leadership Institute. During her time as an undergraduate at Georgia Tech, she led the Swimming and Diving team as team captain.

Knox’s tenure at Clemson spans more than 11 years during which time Knox established the white, purple and orange belt Lean certification program and created the Lean Office, training more than 600 Clemson employees in basic Lean principles. Knox and her team have facilitated more than 80 value stream mapping events across the University. As part of continuous improvement projects, her and her team’s work resulted in improved service delivery times and greater customer satisfaction.

Knox shares her expertise in driving process improvements in higher education at national conferences such as NACUBO and has mentored multiple students involved in Creative Inquiry programs at Clemson.

Since February 2020, Knox has served as a key leader in the University’s response to COVID-19, particularly as it relates to ensuring the efficiency of testing operations.

Knox will report to President Jim Clements and will serve on the University Executive Leadership Team.