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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What was 2020Forward?

2020Forward was the name of the planning process for the strategic plan. However, the plan itself is intended to prepare Clemson not just for 2020, but for the next 50 years. Because the plan is intended, simply put, to move Clemson Forward, it was named ClemsonForward.

How many people participated in the strategic planning process?

More than 150 faculty, staff and students were a part of 15 committees in the first two phases of the planning process. In addition, several hundred people attended the Phase I and Phase 2 Town Hall meetings. There were more than 43,000 views of the planning process website, and more than 700 comments received via web, email and confidential survey.

When will we start to see results of the plan?

As with most plans, implementation takes time. The first step is college re-organization, which will allow each department an optimal path to national prominence. The reorganization plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2015. See the timeline for more specifics on how the ClemsonForward plan will be rolled out in the coming years. However, it is expected that there will be visible signs of progress in implementation strategic priorities within the first 12 months.

Many of ClemsonForward’s initiatives sound expensiveHow will we pay for it?

The vision of ClemsonForward is ambitious but we can achieve many of the plan’s specific elements with very modest investment. Selected areas will require significant and carefully targeted funding which we will pay for through more effective enrollment management, new sources of entrepreneurial revenue and private giving, more careful stewardship of financial returns from existing research, and the application of LEAN analyses and other techniques to improve efficiency and reduce expense. 

Why do we need a new strategic plan?

The ultimate vision of Clemson’s previous strategic plan — the 2020 Road Map —was achieved in October 2014 when U.S.News & World Report ranked Clemson a Top 20 Public University as part of its annual guide to “America’s Best Colleges.” Clemson reached this goal through its dynamic leadership, excellent faculty and staff, a strong central focus on undergraduate learning, and an internal “divest to invest” strategy that prioritized undergraduate learning and made small but highly strategic investments in attracting, retaining and rewarding talent. The achievement of this Top 20 ranking naturally opened the question of “what comes next?” This question is what led President Clements to charge the institution to refocus the priorities within the 2020 Road Map.

How does college reorganization fit into the ClemsonForward plan?

College reorganization is one of three key enablers to the University’s long-term strategic plan, and adjusting Clemson’s structure will build an optimal path for academic units to achieve national prominence. The new college structure creates more focused academic units and positions Clemson to compete more effectively with aspirational peer institutions.