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Inclusion Update: April 2017

In April 2016, Clemson University President Jim Clements shared with the campus the University's ambitious commitment to creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment, and outlined a number of specific areas that University leadership would be addressing. Over the past year, the University has made strong progress across this area and others which are vital to Clemson's long-term success.

In the spirit of transparency, we offer this update (download):

COMMITMENT: CREATE MORE APPROPRIATE SHORT- AND LONG-TERM SPACE FOR THE GANTT MULTICULTURAL CENTER

students laughingPROGRESS: The center opened in newly renovated space in Brackett Hall early in the academic year, which has provided a welcoming location for students of all backgrounds to study, relax and receive assistance. The space will serve the university well as it continues to explore options for a permanent home for the center.

In addition, we created new renovated space for our PEER and Wise programs, which support women and minority students in engineering.

COMMITMENT: PROVIDE INCREASED FUNDING FOR STUDENT GROUPS REPRESENTING DIVERSE POPULATIONS

PROGRESS: Since mid-2013, Clemson has raised $2.5 million for scholarships designed to assist students from underrepresented populations and has created 10 new endowed scholarship programs for those same groups of students.

During the current academic year, The Office of Student Affairs has funded more than $116,000 in inclusion-related programming across the campus, in addition to the base level of funding provided to student groups each year.

COMMITMENT: DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF UNDERREPRESENTED FACULTY BY 2025

teacher and studentsPROGRESS: The University continues to make strides to reach this long-term goal. Since the fall of 2013, the number of African-American and Hispanic faculty members at Clemson has increased 26 percent.

COMMITMENT: IMPLEMENT CHANGES TO THE CU1000 COURSE TAKEN BY FRESHMEN TO INCLUDE MATERIALS RELATED TO THE IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION TO THE SUCCESS OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY

PROGRESS: This work is ongoing and remains on schedule.

COMMITMENT: CREATE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION TRAINING FOR FACULTY AND STAFF

PROGRESS: An online training course has been developed and is being rolled out to faculty and staff this month.

COMMITMENT: TELL THE COMPLETE STORY OF CLEMSON'S HISTORICAL BUILDINGS THROUGH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE UNIVERSITY'S HISTORY TASK FORCE

PROGRESS: The University has taken several steps recommended by the Task Force, including:

  • Slave Decendants at Clemson in rocking chairsThe installation of exhibits at Tillman Hall last fall that highlight the full history of the iconic campus building named for one of Clemson's original trustees and the controversial late 19th century South Carolina Gov. Benjamin Tillman, as well as the inspiring story of Harvey Gantt, Clemson's first African-American student who later became a leading architect and the first African-American mayor of Charlotte, N.C.
  • Historical markers that share the contributions of African- American convict laborers have been erected on campus.
  • A new history website that tells the complete story of Clemson's history has been created.
  • Last November the University held "History in Plain Sight" day, which brought descendants of slaves owned by Thomas Green Clemson to campus to be recognized.
  • Work is underway to create an interpretative history of Clemson and to implement other ideas that will allow the University to better recognize its full history.

COMMITMENT: MORE EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE CLEMSON'S EFFORTS TO ENSURE THAT ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE TREATED WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT

PROGRESS: University leadership is steadfast in its opposition to threatening behavior toward members of the community. All instances of such behavior are investigated promptly and thoroughly. President Clements and other University leaders have made it clear through public communications that such behavior will not be tolerated.

COMMITMENT: INCREASE CLEMSON'S UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENT POPULATION

enrollment chartPROGRESS: Clemson continues to make strong gains in this area. Some examples:

  • The number of underrepresented minorities among last fall's full-time freshman class was 55 percent higher than the 2013 entering class and represented 14 percent of the freshman class.
  • The number of African-American undergraduate students increased 20 percent from 2013 to 2016, while the number of Hispanic students is up 48 percent.
  • Among graduate students, African-American enrollment has grown 27 percent and Hispanic enrollment is up 46 percent during the same period.
  • Clemson's admissions organization has added staff resources specifically aimed at improving the University's outreach to talented high school students from underrepresented populations.
  • Since mid-2013, Clemson has raised $2.5 million for scholarships designed to assist students from underrepresented populations and has created 10 new endowed scholarship programs for those same groups of students.

A word about an ambitious long-term effort to increase the pipeline of college-ready talent in South Carolina’s underrepresented communities.

This month, Clemson will host its first-ever Men of Color National Summit. The summit will bring together approximately 2,000 high school and college students, business professionals, educators, government officials and community leaders from around the country, with one goal: to close the achievement gap for African-American and Hispanic males from cradle to career.

At the heart of the summit is the creation of the inaugural “Tiger Alliance” cohort of approximately 400 high school students from across the upstate region. These young men, chosen by their teachers, will receive mentoring, guidance and educational enrichment opportunities from Clemson throughout their high school careers with the aim to make them as college-ready as possible – whether that’s at Clemson or another school that fits their goals.