The Opportunity

Clemson University is seeking a leader and champion for research to lead the efforts of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences (CAFLS) and the Clemson University Experiment Station in enhancing the pursuit of interdisciplinary scholarship. The Associate Dean for Research will serve as an academic administrator with responsibility to support the College’s faculty and Experiment Station personnel and promote innovative ideas in research initiatives.  This leader will also serve as the Director of the Clemson University Experiment Station, providing administrative oversight for the research and education centers, and interacting with key statewide leaders and personnel in meeting the land-grant mission afforded the university. 

Institutional Background

Clemson University Overview

Founded in 1889, Clemson University is a land-grant institution committed both to world-class research and a high quality of life.  Seven interdisciplinary colleges and schools house strong programs in architecture, engineering, science, agriculture, natural resources, business, social sciences, arts and humanities, health care, and education are home to a dedicated and diverse student body of approximately 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  A faculty over 1,200 and staff of 3,500 support over 70 undergraduate degree offerings and more than 75 masters and 45 doctoral programs. An annual operating budget of $1.1 billion and an endowment of more than $700 million fund programs and operations. Total research expenditures in 2015 were over $170 million.

Major new research and economic development activities are enhanced by public-private partnerships at three innovation campuses and six research and education centers located throughout South Carolina. Fulfilling the founder’s vision of a “high seminary of learning” for the people of South Carolina, Clemson has emerged as a research university with global vision and reach that remains committed to the quality of its well-known undergraduate experience.  Clemson’s unique origin and idyllic college-town setting have carved a distinctive culture of community, collegiality, collaboration and service — traits inseparable from the institution itself.

A top-25 public university with a reputation for excellence, Clemson combines the benefits of a major research university with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and individual student success. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, have opportunities for unique educational experiences throughout South Carolina, as well as in other states and countries. Experiential learning is a valued component of the Clemson Experience, and students are encouraged through Creative Inquiry, internships, and study abroad to apply their learning beyond the classroom. Electronic delivery of courses and degree programs also provides additional avenues for learning opportunities. Clemson’s extended campus includes teaching sites in Greenville and Charleston,  six research campuses and five public service centers throughout the state of South Carolina, as well as four international sites.

The University is committed to exemplary teaching, research, and public service in the context of general education, student engagement and development, continuing education, and fulfilling the land-grant mission through research and extension. In all areas, the goal is to develop students’ communication and critical-thinking skills, ethical judgment, global awareness, and scientific and technological knowledge. The distinctive character of Clemson is reflected in the culture of collegiality and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, the administration, and the University Board of Trustees.

ClemsonForward Strategic Plan

ClemsonForward focuses on the success of students by targeting research, engagement, the academic core and the living environment.  For more information on ClemsonForward please see: .

About Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson University is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by Lake Hartwell and the 17,500-acre Clemson Experimental Forest. This strikingly beautiful campus enjoys a pleasant climate. The University is the cultural center of the city, although a quaint downtown is located directly to the north of the campus. The community was originally named "Calhoun" and was renamed "Clemson" in 1943.   The University and city of Clemson are home to the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Fort Hill Plantation and the Bob Campbell Geology Museum. Lake Hartwell is a popular recreation area that borders the city on the west.

The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS) is deeply rooted in Clemson University’s heritage as a land-grant institution, advancing founder Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of higher education that benefits South Carolina, its people, land, wildlife, natural resources and economy. World-class education, research, and outreach combine for scientific discoveries of global significance, while partnerships with industry and state and federal agencies foster innovation and provide unique opportunities for faculty and students. Rigorous classroom and experiential learning opportunities are the hallmarks of CAFLS’ curricula, which explores plant, animal, environmental and packaging sciences.

Mission The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences provides unified education, research and public service leadership in the grand challenges of global food supply and safety, human and animal nutrition, agricultural systems efficiency, environmental conservation, sustainable packaging, and renewable resources. Through rigorous experiential and classroom learning opportunities, the College readies its graduates to assume leadership roles in industries essential to ensuring the future security and prosperity of South Carolinians and the  growing global population.

Vision The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences will create future leaders and deliver research-based discoveries that will feed a growing world population, develop renewable sources of energy, ensure a safe sustainably packaged food supply, and maintain a healthy environment.

The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences is one of seven colleges at Clemson University.  A recent university reorganization has brought together five well-established departments offering BA, BS, MS and PhD degree programs and Centers and Institutes.


Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences
Agricultural Sciences
Forestry and Environmental Conservation
Plant and Environmental Sciences

The College has 135 faculty and 542 staff, with 1,861 undergraduate majors and 276 graduate students. This year the College is expected to have over $10M in research expenditures.

As a land-grant university, Clemson is part of a national system created by the U.S. Congress to improve the quality of life for citizens in every state through teaching, research and Extension.  The Clemson Experiment Station programs develop and deliver scientific information in areas that align with the national land-grant university system and touch the life of every South Carolinian. Those areas are: agrisystems productivity and profitability; economic and community development; natural resources and environmental conservation; food safety and nutrition; and youth development and families.

The Experimental Station has 45 faculty, 90 staff, and 10 extension associates located at its off-campus research and education centers (RECs). Numerous graduate students are advised by REC faculty and some are year-round residents at RECs. CAFLS undergraduate programs are supported by RECs through course offerings, field trips, and research and Extension internships.

Research and Education Centers (RECs):

Baruch Institute for Coastal Ecology and Forest Science (BICEFS) (Georgetown) conducts research and outreach programs to promote sustainable management of lowcountry systems, particularly: the environmental impact of changing land-use patterns, coastal natural resource conservation, forestry, water quality, wildlife biology, and watershed management.  Memoranda of understanding with public and private organizations grant access to more than 80,000 acres of coastal lands for research and education programs.  The 16,000-acre Hobcaw Barony offers research opportunities for faculty and students in an ecological reserve of forests, high-salinity marsh estuaries, and brackish and freshwater wetlands.

Coastal REC (Charleston) conducts applied research, education and public service programs on vegetable and specialty crops.  The center includes 325 acres in addition to laboratories in the Department of Agriculture U.S. Vegetable Laboratory building.  The research focus is developing sustainable, efficient and economical vegetable production and conventional and organic pest management. 

Edisto REC (Blackville) conducts applied research and outreach programs on sustainable crop and livestock production systems, including cotton, soybeans, corn, peanuts, vegetables, small grains and beef cattle (2,354 acres).  It's home to men and women who work as a team to help solve problems facing the South Carolina farmer, particularly the farmer in the Coastal Plain. 

Pee Dee REC (Florence) conducts applied research and outreach programs on row crops to enhance yields through genetic improvement and to reduce the environmental impact of crop production and golf course management (2,300 acres).

Sandhill REC (Columbia) designs and implements programs that affect agriculture, the environment and the citizens of South Carolina in program areas including agribusiness, wildlife, forestry, entrepreneurship, education, and more (600 acres).

The Simpson REC consists of all of the research farms located on and around Clemson University's main campus, including: Calhoun Fields, LeMaster Dairy Cattle Center, Morgan Poultry Center, Musser Fruit Farm, Simpson Beef Cattle Farm, and the Starkey Swine Center.

Position Responsibilities

The Associate Dean for Research and Director of Experiment Station (ADR/Director) reports directly to the Dean of the College.  The ADR/Director holds faculty rank and provides leadership and vision to help formulate and implement research policies while serving as the collegiate faculty’s agent in the execution of such policies. The ADR/Director serves as the principal internal and external spokesperson for the college’s and REC’s research programs.

The ADR/Director will have responsibility for:

  • Providing leadership and vision for research programs, considering innovation, fidelity to high standards and compliance, and supporting a vibrant graduate student community through recruitment, retention, and scholarship;
  • Working collaboratively with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Cooperative Extension Service, as well as department chairs and faculty of the CAFLS academic units to foster growth in research programs;
  • Developing strategies for the promotion and success of multidisciplinary research efforts across the College and University, between on-campus and off-campus faculty, and among institutions, government agencies, and organizations;
  • Represent CAFLS and the University in the regional and national network of Experiment Station Directors;
  • Managing federal capacity funds (Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Animal Health, and Multistate projects) and state appropriated  funds allocated to the Experiment Station;
  • Overseeing accountability and reporting for capacity funding, and working collaboratively with REC Directors, field staff, and other stakeholders to ensure long-term success of the research centers’ human capital and infrastructure;
  • Mentoring, guiding, and developing successful research-active faculty;
  • Developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to identify funding opportunities and secure funding for research and graduate education, and evaluating and engaging philanthropic, foundation, and grant proposal opportunities;
  • Identifying and supporting coordinated investment in facilities and infrastructure to advance research and outreach efforts;
  • Strengthening and maintaining relationships with state, federal, and international funding partners in order to grow the overall research enterprise;
  • Developing strategies to enhance industry relationships to support sponsored research and coordinate College resources and capacities to engage industry partners. Support and enable the creation of start-up businesses based on innovations generated from the research enterprise;
  • Develop strategies to include all aspects of agriculture and natural resources in South Carolina into relevant research activities to meet industry needs ;
  • In collaboration with the Extension Director, enhancing and developing delivery of research results in a timely and efficient manner to all agricultural and natural resource entities in South Carolina; 
  • Effectively demonstrating a commitment to Clemson Core Values and engage the college in the campus, state and national communities; and
  • Fostering diversity and inclusivity among students, faculty and staff.

Qualifications and Experience

Clemson University seeks a strategic and visionary leader.  The successful candidate will have experience enabling leadership in a premier academic setting and can serve as a strong advocate for CAFLS, and its faculty, staff, and students.  Qualifications should include:

  • Visionary, innovative and influential leadership skills including supervisory and budgetary experience and decision-making;
  • Ability to build support and marshal resources for various initiatives and to achieve goals through appropriate engagement with internal and external stakeholders;
  • The capacity to work collegially and inspire faculty, directors, chairs, and staff and facilitate their success;
  • A demonstrated commitment to the recruitment and retention of a culturally diverse and talented faculty, staff and student body within CAFLS;
  • A commitment to the land-grant mission and a demonstrated ability to work with a diverse array of stakeholders to enhance South Carolina’s citizen’s quality of life;
  • An understanding of and appreciation for research conducted at off-campus Research and Education Centers, agricultural or biological field station, or similar location;
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the breadth of pertinent issues facing society, and how these will impact programming in a land-grant institution;
  • An understanding of and appreciation for the value of fundamental and applied research across the diverse range of disciplines represented within CAFLS including technology transfer and commercialization of academic research;
  • A history of strong commitment to scholarship, and significant experience with writing and administering competitive research grants;
  • An appreciation for and support of quality graduate education experiential opportunities;
  • An ability to create and maintain appropriate alliances with the external stakeholders for research, teaching and outreach opportunities;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; and
  • Strong communication skills (written and oral), including the ability to reach a wide range of audiences.


The successful candidate will have earned a Ph.D. and achieved a record of scholarly activity appropriate for a tenured appointment in the College at the rank of Professor.

Nominations and Applications

The Search Committee will begin reviewing candidates immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications should include 1) a detailed curriculum vitae and 2) a letter of interest that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described above, as well as the applicant’s motivation to apply. 

To ensure full consideration, applications should be submitted electronically by October 25, 2018 to:

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900 | Atlanta, GA 30328 ||
770-804-1996 ext. 117

Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.

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