Clemson Extension Strategic Plan 2015-2020

Executive Summary

Cooperative Extension fulfills one-third of Clemson University’s land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension by serving as the primary public service outreach arm of the University. As stated by Clemson University President Dr. Jim Clements, “The land-grant system and Cooperative Extension are among the greatest achievements in the history of this country in public access to education.” Given new leadership and having recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension, now is the perfect time to look to the future of this vibrant organization.

On August 12, 2014, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Director, Dr. Tom Dobbins, commissioned the development of this 5-year strategic plan. To achieve the charge, the strategic planning committee required each of the eight Extension program teams to develop their own strategic plans using a provided template. While the team plans were being developed, input was solicited from all Extension employees through an operational survey. This survey asked employees to rate and comment on the existing county operations, advocacy practices, evaluation and promotion procedures, and regional management structure. With this input the committee identified a number of common themes and priorities. Following a series of drafting sessions, this plan is the culmination of what was heard and is designed to move the organization forward into a new era of Extension outreach.


Clemson Extension will be the leading source of unbiased research-based information relating to agriculture, community, environment, food and youth.


We improve the economy, environment, and well-being of South Carolinians through the delivery of unbiased research-based information and education.

Core Values

  • We are committed to excellence within the land-grant responsibilities of teaching, research, and extension.

  • We deliver unbiased, research-based solutions that are timely, relevant, and practical.

  • Our efforts empower South Carolinians to overcome local, regional, national, and global challenges.

  • We serve all with honesty, integrity and respect.

  • Every Extension employee is integral to the success of the organization and Clemson University.

  • Effective internal and external communication is fundamental to the execution of our mission and success of our employees.

  • Engaged collaborators, partners and volunteers are critical to developing solutions and delivering programs.

  • We are committed to knowledge transfer through the responsible use of technology and innovation.

  • Our employees are accountable to the citizens of South Carolina and to each other.

Organizational Goals

  • Goal 1: Enhance the value of agriculture

  • Goal 2: Strengthen families and communities

  • Goal 3: Improve stewardship of natural resources and the environment

  • Goal 4: Strengthen connections between people and their food

  • Goal 5: Engage youth in citizenship, leadership, life skills and STEM

  • Goal 6: Promote professional growth and development of personnel

Strategic Plan Documents

Clemson Cooperative Extension Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020 (Full Report)

Strategic Plan Progress Report (2.2.17)

Extension Operations Survey Summary

Strategic Planning Committee

  • Cory Tanner, Chair
  • Cory Heaton
  • Deon Legette
  • Blake Lanford
  • Matt C. Smith, PhD
  • Mike Marshall, PhD