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Board of Trustees Manual

Chapter III — Mission, Vision and Goals

A. Mission Statement

Clemson University was established to fulfill our founder's vision of "a high seminary of learning" to develop "the material resources of the State" for the people of South Carolina. Nurtured by an abiding land grant commitment, Clemson has emerged as a research university with a global vision. Our primary purpose is educating undergraduate and graduate students to think deeply about and engage in the social, scientific, economic, and professional challenges of our times. The foundation of this mission is the generation, preservation, communication, and application of knowledge. The University also is committed to the personal growth of the individual and promotes an environment of good decision making, healthy and ethical lifestyles, and tolerance and respect for others. Our distinctive character is shaped by a legacy of service, collaboration, and fellowship forged from and renewed by the spirit of Thomas Green Clemson's covenant.

University Description

Clemson University is a selective, public, research university in a college-town setting. Clemson's desire is to attract a capable, dedicated and diverse student body of approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with priority to students from South Carolina. The University offers a wide array of high quality baccalaureate programs built around a distinctive core curriculum. Graduate, continuing education, doctoral and research programs contribute to the state of knowledge and to the economic future of the state, nation and world. The University provides bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 100 majors through seven academic colleges: the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; the College of Education; and the College of Science.

Clemson combines the benefits of a major research university with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and individual student success. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, have opportunities for unique educational experiences throughout South Carolina, as well as in other countries. Experiential learning is a valued component of the Clemson experience, and students are encouraged through Creative Inquiry, internships, and study abroad to apply their learning beyond the classroom. Electronic delivery of courses and degree programs also provide a variety of learning opportunities. Clemson’s extended campus includes teaching sites in Greenville and Charleston, five research campuses and five public service centers throughout the state of South Carolina, as well as four international sites.

The University is committed to exemplary teaching, research and public service in the context of general education, student engagement and development, and continuing education. In all areas, the goal is to develop students’ communication and critical-thinking skills, ethical judgment, global awareness, and scientific and technological knowledge. The distinctive character of Clemson is reflected in the culture of collegiality and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, the administration, and the university board.

Approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees, July 2018
Approved by the SC Commission on Higher Education, October 19, 2016

B. Vision

Clemson University will be one of the nation’s top-20 public universities.

C. Clemson University Board of Trustees Values Statement

Clemson University was established to fulfill its founder’s vision of a “high seminary of learning,” to develop the material resources of South Carolina and to enhance the economic opportunities for South Carolina citizens. Today Clemson is a nationally recognized land-grant research university committed to providing students with an academic foundation that gives them the opportunity for meaningful careers and to be leaders who give back to society. Clemson is a student-centered institution whose mission is to educate students in a manner consistent with these values and to drive economic development in South Carolina. The Board of Trustees honors the intent of Mr. Clemson’s Will and shares the following values:

Integrity Be honest, trustworthy, responsible and ethical.

Respect Value the rights of others, their individual differences, beliefs and ideas. Actively listen and communicate. Seek to understand the challenges they face and be tolerant and forgiving.

Diversity Attract and retain students, faculty and staff with diverse backgrounds who come together as one inclusive Clemson family.

Patriotism Honor our military heritage and our commitment to duty, service, leadership, tradition and civic responsibility.

Excellence Exceed expectations and continuously improve. Be creative and take appropriate risks. Learn from failure. Best is the standard.

Self-Reliance Work hard, exercise self-discipline, be results oriented, and dare to do the right thing, even when it is difficult or unpopular.

D. Strategic Priorities

Clemson will be nationally recognized as a leader in:

  • Research: consistently categorized among institutions with the highest level of research activity
  • Engagement: encompassing student engagement, community outreach and public-private partnerships
  • The academic core: perennially ranked among the nation’s top public universities
  • The living environment: an outstanding place to live, learn and work

July 2018


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