Skip to main content

President’s Leadership Institute

  • President's Leadership Institute logo
  • President's Leadership Institute cohort discussion, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • President's Leadership Institute laughter while learning, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute presentation, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute roundtable, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute Provost Jones, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute presentation, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

What is the President’s Leadership Institute?

The President’s Leadership Institute is a nine-month leadership development program that is designed to support and develop professional and personal leadership within a diverse and inclusive community of faculty and staff at Clemson University. The institute enables participants to build individual effectiveness, understand the power of critical thinking and communication, learn directly from President Jim Clements and embrace their own ability to lead within the Clemson community. Each cohort consists of 25 faculty and staff nominated by University leadership.

The President’s Leadership Institute is an exciting opportunity for emerging, high-potential, and high-performing members of the faculty and staff of Clemson University. For more information, contact Kyra Lobbins at

  • Goals of the President's Leadership Institute
    • Enable personal and professional growth for every participant.
    • Ensure high levels of familiarity and interaction among faculty and staff from all areas of the University.
    • Offer opportunities for dialogue and discussion on topics important to the state of our University and its environment and constituents.
    • Provide an in-depth, clearer understanding of the internal structure and unique characteristics of our University landscape.
    • Create dialogue and discussion on topics important to the state of our University and its constituents.
    • Explore issues and opportunities facing higher education in general and those specific to Clemson such as our mission, strategies, priorities, governance, stakeholders and internal/external relations.
    • Broaden perspectives of Clemson's impact at a state, regional, national, and international level.
    • Ensure strong University leadership for the future.
    • Improve the University's overall performance.
  • Who can participate?

    Each cohort of the President’s Leadership Institute (PLI) comprises 25 faculty and staff members from across the University who demonstrate exceptional performance in their respective areas. Faculty are nominated by the college deans and/or the Provost; staff are nominated by the University vice-presidents or corresponding divisional heads or senior administrators of the non-academic units of the University. A selection committee reviews the nominations for the final cohort. .

    Annual nominations for the cohort will be solicited in April.

  • What can I expect?

    During the nine-month program, the cohort meets once a month for an all-day session.

    Meetings take place at various locations on campus or in Greenville, Charleston or Columbia.

    Program participants should expect meetings to encompass elements of critical thinking, problem solving, self-analysis, exposure to new ideas, and rigorous and healthy discussion on a myriad of topics, and high levels of fellowship and interaction with fellow classmates.

    Potential topics include:

    • Clemson's history and character (land-grant, mission, governance model)
    • Clemson University as a business: what it takes to run a university and meet the needs of our constituents (finance, facilities, infrastructure)
    • Personal leadership skills/team building/leadership styles
    • Clemson's impact across South Carolina (Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, public service activities)
    • Conflict resolution
    • Diversity and inclusion
    • Governmental relations and external relations
    • Opportunities and challenges in higher education
    • Athletics
    • Strategic planning and university priorities
  • Timeline

    Annual nominations for the cohort will be solicited in April.
    Program runs from August through May of a given academic year.

    Each program includes:

    • Seven class days
    • An overnight trip to Columbia and Charleston
    • A graduation
    • Variety of site visits outside of main campus
  • President's Leadership Institute Classes

    Previous Cohorts

    2018 Cohort

    Carla Bennett, director of academic finance, Office of Academic Affairs

    Crystal Bennett, content integration specialist, Marketing and Creative Services, University Relations

    Meg Bishop, program coordinator II, College of Business

    Brian Callahan, Ph.D., associate director for field operations, Cooperative Extension

    Bobby Clark, director of CCIT procurement, CCIT

    Kelly Cloyd, senior director of development, Office of Development

    Cynthia Deaton, Ph.D., associate professor – teaching and learning, College of Education

    John DesJardins, Ph.D., associate professor – bioengineering, director of bioengineering abroad programs, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

    Tia Dumas, Ph.D., assistant dean, Graduate School

    Talitha Ellington, executive assistant and partnership coordinator, CU-ICAR Partnership Office

    Kristin Foster, centers and institute specialist, Office of Sponsored Programs

    Lisa Gagnon, senior HR director, Office of Human Resources

    Carlos Garcia, Ph.D., professor – chemistry, College of Science

    Erin Goss, Ph.D., associate professor – British literature, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

    Daniel Harding, associate professor, director of graduate architecture programs, director, community research and design center, School of Architecture

    Kathy Hobgood, assistant vice president for student affairs, executive director of university housing and dining, Student Affairs

    Natalie Honnen, associate athletic director, student-athlete services and performance, Athletic Department

    Jermaine Johnson, Ph.D., assistant general counsel, Office of General Counsel

    Rick Petillo, director of debt and capital financing, Finance and Operations

    Jennifer Siemens, Ph.D., associate professor – marketing, College of Business

    Joseph Thames, instructor and academic advisor, College of Science

    Kristine Vernon, Ph.D., associate professor – 4-H youth development program team, Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

    Narendra Vyavahare, Ph.D., professor – bioengineering, Hunter Endowed Chair, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

    John Whitcomb, Ph.D., professor, director, undergraduate programs in nursing, College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

    Sarah Winslow, Ph.D., professor, director of National Scholars Program, College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

President's Leadership Institute
// $(document).foundation('orbit', { timer_speed: 10000, pause_on_hover: true, resume_on_mouseout: true, animation_speed: 500, }); //