Clemson’s new president hired from West Virginia University

Staff Report
Published Nov. 11, 2013

Clemson University’s new president is coming from West Virginia University. Clemson trustees Monday announced that West Virginia University President James P. “Jim” Clements will succeed James Barker, who is retiring in April.

New Clemson President James Clements. (Photo/Provided by Clemson University) New Clemson President James Clements. (Photo/Provided by Clemson University)

Clemson board Chairman David Wilkins said the 49-year-old Clements is a “distinguished scholar, a nationally recognized voice in higher education and a proven leader who understands the unique mission of land-grant universities. We are confident he is the right person to lead Clemson University to the next level as a great public research university.”

Clements is also a tenured professor at West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources’ Lane department of computer science and electrical engineering.

West Virginia University spokesman Jake Stump said Clements’ annual base salary at the university is $775,000. Clemson’s media affairs office said the next president’s salary at Clemson was not immediately available.

Barker, who has been Clemson’s president for 14 years, plans to remain on the faculty of the School of Architecture.

Prior to his West Virginia University presidency, Clements worked as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Towson University. He previously worked as Towson’s vice president for economic and community outreach, held the Robert W. Deutsch Distinguished Professorship and chaired the department of computer and information sciences.

Clements earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s and doctorate in operations analysis from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as well as a master’s in computer science from Johns Hopkins University.

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“We are so excited to be joining the Clemson family,” Clements said in Clemson’s statement announcing his hiring. “Clemson is one of the greatest public, land-grant research universities in the country. It is highly respected for being a student-centered campus that provides a top-notch, high-quality education while producing world-class research and vital services to the community.”

The statement said that West Virginia University, in the past four years under Clements’ leadership, has set records in private fundraising, enrollment and research funding. He holds statewide, regional and national leadership positions in higher education, health and economic development organizations. Clements is secretary and chairman-elect of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, which places him on the executive committee. He also is co-chairman of the APLU Energy Forum, chairman of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Leadership and a member of the Business Higher Education Forum, which includes Fortune 500 CEOs and higher education executives.

He is married to Beth Clements, and they have four children: Tyler, twin daughters Hannah and Maggie, and Grace.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct James Clements’ salary at West Virginia University.

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