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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 21,800 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.

Updated by the Clemson University Board of Trustees, July 15, 2016
Update Approved by the SC Commission on Higher Education, October 19, 2016
Approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees, October 19, 2012
Approved by the SC Commission on Higher Education, March 22, 2013

B. Vision

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

C. Long-Term Goals

Fulfill Clemson’s responsibility to students and the state of South Carolina

  • to provide talent for the new economy by recruiting and retaining outstanding students and faculty and providing an exceptional educational experience grounded in engagement;
  • to drive innovation, through research and service, that stimulates economic growth and solves problems;
  • to serve the public good by focusing on emphasis areas that address some of the great challenges of the 21st century — national priorities such as health, energy, transportation and sustainable environment.


Invest in strategic priorities:

  • Enhance student quality and performance
    • Enroll a top-15 undergraduate freshman class.
    • Increase undergraduate student applications in focus areas by 20%.
    • Meet objectives of the diversity plan for students.
    • Increase Critical Thinking, Writing and Mathematics proficiency scores from freshman to senior year as measured by the ETS Proficiency Profile.
    • Increase the number and quality of doctoral students in focus areas by 30%.
    • Increase the number of nationally competitive awards received by undergraduate and graduate students, including two Rhodes Scholars.
    • Increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students presenting papers/posters at national meetings.
    • Monitor graduating students’ employment, continued education and other indicators of success.
  • Provide engagement and leadership opportunities for all students
    • Double the number of students participating in Creative Inquiry (CI) and service-learning projects.
    • Increase the number of external internships and co-ops.
    • Increase the number of internal (campus) internships to engage 500 students annually.
    • Double the number of students participating in study abroad programs.
    • Establish or enhance two living-learning communities on campus each year.
  • Attract, retain and reward top people
    • Increase the successful completion of participants’ Staff Development Programs.
    • Strategically reward outstanding performance through competitive compensation measures.
    • Hire 86 new faculty members with increased funding in five focus areas.
    • Meet the objectives of the diversity plan for faculty and staff.
    • Increase the number of national academy members to 10.
    • Ensure talented leaders are available to manage key new initiatives.
    • Increase research expenditures by 50%.
    • Continue to support economic development through job growth and capital investment in SC though innovation and research.
    • Increase government, university and industry partnerships.
  • Build to compete — facilities, infrastructure and technology
    • Deploy new student and research information systems successfully.
    • Enhance business system capabilities to decrease transaction costs.
    • Increase the number and quality of technology-enhanced classrooms.
    • Measure the effect of high performance computing on productivity.
    • Leverage enhanced infrastructure for partnerships and shared cloud services.
    • Replace 35% of paper journals collections with online for shared library resources.
  • Maintain an environment that is healthy, safe and attractive
    • Enhance and build teaching, research, student life and athletic facilities.
    • Address deferred maintenance.
    • Upgrade the campus utilities infrastructure.
    • Increase consistently University enforcement of student alcohol and other drug-related incidences until the intensity and frequency of violations are reduced.
    • Decrease the student self-reported harms.
  • Increase the reputation of the University: state, national and international.
    • Successfully complete our current capital campaign.
    • Enhance and publicize state, national and international accomplishments by faculty, staff and students.
    • While maintaining full compliance and academic progress/graduate success rates above the ACC/SEC mean, field nationally competitive teams – as measured by top-25 national rankings, NCAA tournament participation to include national, ACC division and conference championships.

February 2015

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