President’s Leadership Institute

  • President's Leadership Institute logo
  • President's Leadership Institute cohort discussion, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • President's Leadership Institute laughter while learning, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute presentation, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute roundtable, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute Provost Jones, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
  • Presidents Leadership Institute presentation, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

What is the President’s Leadership Institute?

The President’s Leadership Institute is a nine-month leadership development program that is designed to support and develop professional and personal leadership within a diverse and inclusive community of faculty and staff at Clemson University. The institute enables participants to build individual effectiveness, understand the power of critical thinking and communication, learn directly from President Jim Clements and embrace their own ability to lead within the Clemson community. Each cohort consists of 25 faculty and staff nominated by University leadership.

The President’s Leadership Institute is an exciting opportunity for emerging, high-potential, and high-performing members of the faculty and staff of Clemson University.

  • Goals of the President's Leadership Institute
    • Enable personal and professional growth for every participant.
    • Ensure high levels of familiarity and interaction among faculty and staff from all areas of the University.
    • Offer opportunities for dialogue and discussion on topics important to the state of our University and its environment and constituents.
    • Provide an in-depth, clearer understanding of the internal structure and unique characteristics of our University landscape.
    • Create dialogue and discussion on topics important to the state of our University and its constituents.
    • Explore issues and opportunities facing higher education in general and those specific to Clemson such as our mission, strategies, priorities, governance, stakeholders and internal/external relations.
    • Broaden perspectives of Clemson's impact at a state, regional, national, and international level.
    • Ensure strong University leadership for the future.
    • Improve the University's overall performance.
  • Who can participate?

    Each cohort of the President’s Leadership Institute (PLI) comprises 25 faculty and staff members from across the University who demonstrate exceptional performance in their respective areas. Faculty are nominated by the college deans and/or the Provost; staff are nominated by the University vice-presidents or corresponding divisional heads or senior administrators of the non-academic units of the University. A selection committee reviews the nominations for the final cohort. .

    Annual nominations for the cohort will be solicited in April.

  • What can I expect?

    During the nine-month program, the cohort meets once a month for an all-day session.

    Meetings take place at various locations on campus or in Greenville, Charleston or Columbia.

    Program participants should expect meetings to encompass elements of critical thinking, problem solving, self-analysis, exposure to new ideas, and rigorous and healthy discussion on a myriad of topics, and high levels of fellowship and interaction with fellow classmates.

    Potential topics include:

    • Clemson's history and character (land-grant, mission, governance model)
    • Clemson University as a business: what it takes to run a university and meet the needs of our constituents (finance, facilities, infrastructure)
    • Personal leadership skills/team building/leadership styles
    • Clemson's impact across South Carolina (Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, public service activities)
    • Conflict resolution
    • Diversity and inclusion
    • Governmental relations and external relations
    • Opportunities and challenges in higher education
    • Athletics
    • Strategic planning and university priorities
  • Timeline

    Annual nominations for the cohort will be solicited in April.
    Program runs from August through May of a given academic year.

    Each program includes:

    • Seven class days
    • An overnight trip to Columbia and Charleston
    • A graduation
    • Variety of site visits outside of main campus
  • President's Leadership Institute Classes

    Previous Cohorts

    2020 Cohort (See Full Member Bios)

    Drew Lanham, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department

    Thompson Mefford, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

    Natasha Croom, Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs, College of Education

    Mariela Fernandez, Assistant Professor, College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

    Carter McElveen, Senior Lecturer; Alumni Master Teacher, College of Business

    Lori Dickes, Associate Professor; Associate Chair, College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

    Suzanne Rook Schilf, Head of Information & Research Services, Clemson University Libraries

    Valerie Zimany, Chair and Associate Professor, Ceramics, Department of Art

    Kevin Finneran, Professor, Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

    Sean Brittain, Department Chair and Professor of Astronomy, Physics and Astronomy

    Allison Whaley, University Ombudsman for Staff

    Nalinee Patin, IRB Administrator, Research Compliance

    Serita Acker, Executive Director of PEER & WISE, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

    Liliana Gehring, Chief of Strategy and Operations, College of Science

    Amber Lange, Executive Director College Preparation and Outreach, Inclusion and Equity

    Kryssa Cooper, Director of Corporate & Community Relations, Student Affairs

    Laura Stoner, Director, Land and Capital Asset Stewardship, Real Estate Development

    Lee Currington, Director of Business Continuty & Disaster Recovery, CCIT

    Liz Bartges, Director of Digital Strategy, University Relations Marketing

    Tommy Fallaw, Director of Landscaping and Custodial Services, Landscape Services

    Jon Clayton, Executive Customer Success Manager, CCIT

    Jonathan Gantt, Marketing & Public Relations Executive, Athletics

    Steve Warner, Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships, Clemson University Restoration Institute

    Steve Cole, Director of Regulatory & Public Service Programs, Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives

    Kyle Shields, Director of Premium Seating/Major Gifts Officer, IPTAY

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