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Trustees approve CAAH reorganization, parking expansions at spring quarterly meeting


The Clemson University Board of Trustees held its spring quarterly meetings on April 20-21 at the Clyde V. Madren Center on the University’s main campus.

Highlights of the two-day meeting session included Thursday’s launch of Clemson Elevate, the University’s new strategic plan. Also, during Thursday’s committee meetings, women’s golf head coach Kelly Hester was recognized for her program’s recent ACC Championship victory — the first women’s golf championship in school history. Anjali Joseph, Endowed Chair in Architecture + Health Design and Research, provided the Board with an overview of her work training architecture students in designing health care environments to support patient, staff and organizational outcomes.

A Clemson Elevate pocket card sits on an orange and white decorated tabletop.

During the two-day session, the Board approved the reorganization of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities (CAAH), the expansion of two existing parking areas and a name change for the Youth Learning Institute and received updates on the University’s business transformation. Trustees also received detailed reports from the deans of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business and the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences as well as an update on the proposed College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Board approved a proposal to reorganize CAAH into two new colleges: the College of Architecture, Art and Construction and the College of Arts and Humanities, effective July 1, 2023. The College of Architecture, Art and Construction comprises the School of Architecture, the Department of Art, and the Nieri Department of Construction, Development and Planning. The College of Arts and Humanities will consist of the existing departments of English, History and Geography, Languages, Performing Arts, and Philosophy and Religion as well as the newly created Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. The reorganization reflects natural affinities within the departments’ academic disciplines and allows each college to focus on areas of strength as they continue to grow. Additionally, the simplified structure will help to clarify the colleges’ identity for prospective students and faculty members. 

The Youth Learning Institute (YLI), housed in the Division of Research, requested a name change to the Learning Institute to reflect the expanded scope of their outreach. Originally created in 2001 primarily as a Public Service Activity unit focused on creating and implementing innovative programs for youth, the Youth Learning Institute was repositioned under the Division of Research in 2015. Since this reorganization, YLI has brought in over $43M in externally sponsored awards, mostly funding for projects that are not limited to research involving youth participants. Removing the word “Youth” from the name will more accurately describe the inclusive nature of the work being done for all age groups and will allow the unit to be more competitive when seeking external funds for research.

Foundational to Clemson Elevate is the transformation of the business and operational support of the University. Designed to optimize Clemson’s mission of teaching, research and service in a world of limited resources, the transformational process will inform and empower employees to maximize value-add work and minimize nonvalue-add work while making the workforce more efficient and fostering entrepreneurial thinking.

A trio of facilities improvements was approved by the Trustees, including the renovation of the Tillman Hall Auditorium and the expansion of two parking areas.

The renovation of the approximately 13,165-square-foot auditorium in the historic Tillman Hall will remove the large stage for theatrical productions no longer needed, which will provide more room for seating. The newly designed auditorium will become the largest teaching auditorium on campus, and construction is scheduled to begin in September and conclude in January 2025.

The expansion of the existing P5 Park-N-Ride lot by 293 parking spaces is intended to create additional parking inventory to expand and support commuters and park-n-ride permit holders. It will also support the loss of commuter spots from the new Advanced Material Innovation Complex and Lehotsky Hall replacement and will not displace any existing parking.

An expansion of parking near the Lightsey Bridge Complex is intended to create 207 additional parking spaces for Lightsey Bridge resident students so they can be relocated from the R4 parking lot. The Lightsey Bridge Complex and the R4 parking lot are both located across the street from the Botanical Garden. Construction for both parking projects is scheduled to begin in May and be completed in August 2023.

At lunch on each day of the meetings, Trustees received detailed updates on the University’s two largest colleges — the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business and the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. Deans Wendy York and Anand Gramopadhye each provided a look at their college’s strengths while informing the Board of opportunities for continued success.

The full Board meeting on Friday concluded with a presentation on the proposed new College of Veterinary Medicine. The new college has begun a search for a founding dean and identified possible space for a new facility and would serve a growing need for the state of South Carolina. The current plan anticipates the creation of the school for the 2026-2027 academic year.

The next scheduled meeting of Clemson’s Board of Trustees is July 20-22, 2023.

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