Office of the Provost; OUR Clemson

Provost’s Office to launch a search for an Honors College dean



Willliam Lasser, Louise Franke and President Clements
Honors College Executive Director Bill Lasser, Louise Franke and President Clements at a November 2021 reception celebrating Franke being named the University's first-ever Rhodes Scholar.
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The Provost’s Office will launch a search for a dean to lead the Honors College when Executive Director William Lasser steps down from his position to return to his faculty position to teach constitutional law in the Political Science department.

Lasser became executive director of the Honors College in 2010 after serving as interim director since 2009. He came to Clemson in 1983 as an assistant professor. Lasser began working with honors students in the 1980s, designing and coordinating the Political Science department’s honors program.

“Leading the Honors College over the past 13 years has been the highlight of my career,” Lasser said. “I’m grateful to my very dedicated colleagues on the honors faculty and staff, and especially to our amazing honors students and alumni. I’m looking forward to my new (and old) role as a Political Science faculty member, and to contributing however I can to the college and to the students.”

William Lasser

Over the past decade, the Honors College has doubled its enrollment to more than 1,750 students representing 41 U.S. states, built one of the finest Honors College residential complexes in the country and expanded its seminar program to almost 60 options every year.

“Under Bill’s leadership, the Honors College has grown substantially, in number of students and programs offered and in national reputation,” said Bob Jones, executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. “I congratulate him for all he has done to make the Honors College so successful. It is a significant reason Clemson University continues to attract some of the best and brightest students in the country.”

Lasser also:

  • Partnered with Housing to develop the Honors Center and Honors Residential College, and serving as its first faculty-in-residence from 2016 to 2020.
  • Tripled enrollment among the college’s underrepresented students in the last five years.
  • Developed new study abroad opportunities for honors students, including a virtual and residential London Internship Program and the Dixon Global Policy Scholars program, which offers a challenging learning opportunity for students interested in pursuing a major scholarship (such as the Rhodes, Truman, or Marshall) and in enhancing their knowledge of the issues that shape the world.
  • Established the Office of Major Fellowships in 2018, leading to Clemson’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar.
  • Initiated and expanded fundraising efforts, including establishing the Honors College External Advisory Board.

The Provost’s Office will announce the details and search timeline for the new dean’s position this spring.