Vice President’s Message

Dr. John W. KellyNormally this column gives an overview of reports you’ll find in Clemson Impacts. This time, though, I would like to update you on the state funding crisis. Clemson Public Service Activities (PSA) is facing unprecedented cuts, which threaten vital services we provide for the state’s agriculture and forestry industry.

After three rounds of budget cuts from July through December, our state funding is down 21% from last year. This is the same level as in 1989, without adjusting for inflation or the increase in the state’s population. To deal with cuts of this magnitude, we have implemented a mandatory five-day furlough and a hiring freeze, eliminated vacant and temporary positions, significantly reduced operating expenses, and deferred much needed renovations to animal research farms.

We expect next year’s state funding to be as low, or even lower, than the current year. It is impossible to sustain this level of budget cuts without reducing programs that serve the citizens of South Carolina. We are taking a thoughtful, strategic approach to maintain the critical research and education programs that are core to our mission of stimulating economic development for the state’s $34 billion agriculture and forestry sector.

A tentative date of April has been set to complete the review. Some decisions may be made sooner; others may take longer because of their complexity. We will share information as soon as decisions and timetables are established. 

Thank you for your patience during this very trying time. Your support for Clemson PSA is needed now more than ever, despite the sad reality that diminishing resources will likely reduce PSA programs when they are most needed for South Carolina’s economic recovery.

Sincerely,

John W. Kelly
Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture