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Clemson opens new strategic plan to student, faculty input

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Sikes Hall, the University administration building.

The future of Clemson University is a product of its plans, and the devil’s in the details. Continuing the work of ClemsonForward, the new plan calls for the University to deliver the No. 1 student experience, double research by 2035 and transform lives statewide and beyond.

The drafted plan of Clemson Elevate was presented to University students, faculty and staff in webinars Tuesday and Wednesday to ask for input.

As a key part of the plan development process, the University is trying to reach out to a variety of voices for input before introducing the plan next year, according to Amy Smith, vice president of university relations.

The webinar focused on introducing the pillars and the array of metrics to be used to measure success, including data like retention and graduation rates, but also national rankings.

As approved by the Board of Trustees in 2012 and included in the current strategic plan, the University’s vision statement continues to aim for being “one of the nation’s top-20 public universities.” Clemson Elevate is no different, aspiring for the University to be nationally preeminent in education and research.

The research pillar of Clemson’s plan emphasizes the University’s positioning for the Association of American Universities, an organization of research universities that Clemson is not currently a part of.

Joining the association is done by invitation only, representing a range of prestigious universities, including Harvard University, Duke University and the University of Virginia.

Building on ClemsonForward for the next ten-year plan

A recommendation for the strategic plan by the administration was approved by the Board of Trustees at the meeting this past October, according to the University.

While it is in the early stages of planning, Clemson Elevate is the result of new and better opportunities presented after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bob Jones, University provost.

“We could see that despite the effort that we had to go through to get through COVID, we were going to bounce back strong and have an opportunity to do something — take advantage of changes in higher education that are happening and have even been accelerated by COVID,” said Jones.

As the University grows, the administration is aware of the need to maintain the experience that the Clemson family — young and old — know best.

“Keeping Clemson, Clemson. That’s what we hear from all of our alums and beyond. We want to honor the traditions and the values and build upon those as we look forward to being innovative and creative in all the work we are doing,” said Chris Miller, vice president for student affairs.

The Clemson Elevate plan is scheduled to be formally introduced in 2023, with additional opportunities for students, faculty and staff to offer input along the way.

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