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Clemson’s Office of Human Resources: Going the Extra Miles

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Wherever Clemson employees work, the University’s Office of Human Resources remains committed to serving all faculty and staff. These days, what that means is that Clemson’s HR supports employees in 19 states and each of South Carolina’s 46 counties. While evidence of HR’s support is exhibited everywhere on Clemson’s main campus, other off-campus units receive expert human resources care too.

One has only to travel to North Charleston, SC to meet with 30 or more university researchers/conservators and staff at another vital Clemson campus. A key component of the 2020Forward plan was the development of the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) campus. Supporting project efforts at the 45,917-square-foot Warren Lasch Conservation Center, the 100,000 plus-square-foot SCE&G Energy Innovation Center and the newly commissioned Zucker Family Graduate Education Center that make up CURI means much more than assembling and maintaining its state-of-the-art electron microscopes, 3-D scanners or 15-megawatt hardware-in-the-loop grid simulator. It takes experts. Conducting the internationally renowned research and restoration work at CURI is a very diverse team with members from all over the world.

Recently, CURI collaborated with HR to help support the integration of the CURI team with the University’s broader community of researchers, scholars and support staff and to better align their activities with the main campus academic programs and ClemsonForward 2020 Strategic Plan. In July 2016, the two groups conducted its second partner event ― part of a series of work meetings with the objective of increasing the engagement and retention of key off-campus personnel while addressing CURI’s key HR needs.

“Among the biggest issues facing us was our ability to provide competitive compensation to CURI employees,” says Nick Rigas, CURI’s executive director. “The University’s Office of Human Resources provided key market analysis so that we could remain competitive. Work with HR has allowed us to attract, retain and reward our employees.”

While important to CURI’s ability to meet its Forward 2020 goals, much more than compensation needed to be addressed. Clemson’s HR worked with Rigas to form a new organizational structure that strategically aligned key CURI researchers to respective academic departments. “Now all the research we do at CURI will be reported by the respective departments back on Clemson’s main campus,” says Rigas. “This is important because those departments will get credit for research conducted at CURI when it comes time to compete for vital NSF grants.”