Office of the Provost; OUR Clemson

Sean Brittain appointed associate provost and dean for Undergraduate Learning


After a nationwide search, Clemson University’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robert H. Jones has named Sean Brittain associate provost and dean of Undergraduate Learning. The appointment was approved by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 22. Previously, Brittain was the University’s department chair of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science. 

“Sean’s commitment to collaboration, innovation and excellence enhances key facets that lead to the University’s goal of delivering a No. 1 student experience as undergraduate students pursue opportunities that ignite their interests. His proven tenure of leadership has resulted in expansions to summer enrollments and increases in giving to the department that boosted research expenditures for the Department resulting in real-world community outcomes transforming lives statewide and beyond. I am delighted to welcome Sean in his new position to serve as a passionate advocate for undergraduate education,” said Jones.  

Brittain, an astrophysicist, has been a Physics and Astronomy faculty member since March 2006. He has collected data with his students at forefront observatories worldwide, including the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Additionally, his work has been supported by more than $2 million in funding from NASA and NSF. He has taught at all levels – from general education science courses for non-majors to graduate astrophysics courses.  

A first-generation college student, Brittain earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Physics from LeTourneau University, a Master of Science and doctoral degree in Physics from the University of Notre Dame, and was awarded a Michelson Postdoctoral Fellowship that he took to the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Ariz.  

Brittain has always found it rewarding how Clemson serves its undergraduate students, maintaining the University does an outstanding job in its service to students. To Brittain, this service is what results in Clemson’s extremely loyal alumni base.  

“I’m so excited to be able to continue to collaborate with students, provide academic support and enhance visibilities for opportunities outside the classroom so that they can explore as many interests as possible,” said Brittain. “I am honored to step into this position and also look forward to working with faculty and staff, ensuring they have the resources to pursue new initiatives and achieve even greater heights of excellence for the University.” 

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