Faculty Representative To the Board of Trustees

The Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, a position established in 1998 with a three-year term, is celebrated because of the opportunity it provides to heighten and strengthen communications between the Clemson faculty and the Board. All tenured regular Clemson University faculty are eligible for this position.

The Faculty Representative to the Board is recognized as the official representative of the faculty and is granted privileges beyond those accorded to visitors to the Board’s meetings including receipt of minutes, agendas, and attachments of all Board and committee meetings and an opportunity to be included on the agenda upon approval. As the primary conduit between the Board and faculty, this representative will communicate with and gather information from faculty, and consult with the Faculty Senate on Board-related matters.

The Board meets quarterly, in October, February, April and July of each year. The Faculty Representative provides a written report to the Board's Educational Policy Committee and an oral report at the public meeting of the Board. Additionally, this representative is an ex-officio member of the Faculty Senate’s Advisory Committee. The representative also provides reports at several of the General Faculty Meetings, which are held in December, May, and in conjunction with the August Convocation.

A call for nominations (self-nominations are welcome) is sent July 1st every third year or upon the resignation of a representative, via the Faculty Senate Office on behalf of the selection committee chair. The selection committee of two previous Board Representatives, two Distinguished Alumni Professors, the Faculty Senate President and VP/President-Elect, and the lead Faculty Senators from all Colleges not otherwise represented make their final decision based on the application materials. These materials include a complete curriculum vitae, a statement of interest from the nominee, and a statement from the nominee detailing experience in faculty governance. See Appendix B: Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees of the Faculty Manual for additional details. 


2018-2021  — Joseph Ryan

Dr. Joe Ryan is the Sue Stanzione Distinguished Professor of special education. He is the founder and Executive Director of Clemson LIFE (Learning is for Everyone), a nationally recognized post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. He has taught students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) from grades K through 12 across a variety of educational settings, including resource and self-contained classrooms, special day schools, and a residential treatment center. Dr. Ryan has over 80 publications, and currently serves as the Editor of the journal Beyond Behavior. His research interests focus on behavioral interventions and enhancing post-school outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. He has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper, CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other leading periodicals, and given two U.S. Congressional Briefings on behavioral crisis interventions for schools. Dr. Ryan is also the founder and Director of several adaptive sports programs (baseball, soccer), Clemson Letterbox Club an educational program for children in foster care, and volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem. He is a retired Captain in the United States Navy Reserve.


Past Representatives

O. Mefford Thompson’s tenure as Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees

2015-2018 — O. Thompson Mefford

Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering department. As the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, he seeks the betterment of the University through the recruitment and retention of scholastic leaders, and enhancing the outward reputation of the University. He is dedicated to enhancing the two-way communication between the faculty and the Board. His research focuses on developing stable, biocompatible polymer-metal oxide nanoparticle complexes and composites for biomedical, environmental, and energy applications. These applications include: developing materials for magnetic hyperthermia, MRI contrast agents, and drug delivery systems. As a materials chemist, he has expertise in nanomaterial synthesis, characterization of colloids, and the physics of magnetic nanoparticles. In his free time, Dr. Mefford is found running, cycling, paddling, backpacking, gardening, and homebrewing.

Other past Faculty Representatives to the Board of Trustees include: David Blakesley (2012-2015), Tony Cawthon (2011-2012), Windsor Westbrook Sherrill (2009-2011), John Ballato (2006-2008), Alan Grubb (2003-2005), Pat Smart (2001-2003), and Fran McGuire (1999-2001).