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Dean for the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences

Clemson University
101 Barre Hall

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Job Details

Dean for the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences

101 Barre Hall
Open Date:
Jan 3, 2024


Clemson University is looking for a dynamic and visionary leader to support the growth of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences (CAFLS) and the service mission of Public Service and Agriculture (PSA) to South Carolina communities. Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, this position requires an individual who can navigate the academic environment of an R1 college and work with state officials and regulatory agencies to uphold Clemson University's land grant mission.

The portfolio consists of the departments of Agricultural Sciences, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences, Forestry and Environmental Conservation, and Plant and Environmental Sciences in addition to twelve centers and institutes. The college offers twelve undergraduate majors and eleven graduate programs with over 1900 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. The college is also home for the SC Agricultural Experiment Station, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, Livestock Poultry Health, and Regulatory Services in addition to outreach and research facilities distributed throughout South Carolina including six major research and education centers and the Botanical Garden.


The dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the college. The dean holds tenured faculty rank and provides leadership, vision, and strategic planning to help formulate and implement educational policies while serving as the collegiate faculty’s agent in the execution of such policies. The dean serves as the principal internal and external spokesperson for the college and PSA as well as for its mission of promoting all areas associated with the college. Performance in office is reviewed at regular intervals by the provost per the Clemson University Faculty Manual. The dean will be responsible for:

  • Strategic Leadership:  Develop and execute a compelling vision for the integration of CAFLS and PSA that aligns with the university’s mission and Clemson Elevate strategic plan. Lead efforts to enhance the college’s reputation, both nationally and internationally, and cultivate partnerships with industry, government, and other educational institutions.
  • Academic Excellence: Promote academic excellence by setting high standards for faculty, staff, and students. Foster a collaborative and inclusive learning environment that encourages interdisciplinary research, creativity, and innovation.
  • Community Engagement: Build and strengthen relationships with external stakeholders, alumni, local communities, industry leaders and partners, SC state agencies, and other groups to enhance outreach efforts that promote the college's visibility and transform lives statewide and beyond.
  • Research and Scholarship: Foster a robust research culture that encourages faculty and students to engage in innovative research and creative endeavors. Facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and seek external funding for research projects.
  • Fiduciary Decisions and Resource Management: Manage the college budgets and resources effectively, seeking external funding opportunities through grants, partnerships, and fundraising efforts. Allocate resources strategically to support the college's academic, research and land-grant missions of teaching, research and Extension.
  • Faculty and Staff Development: Recruit, retain, and mentor diverse and talented faculty and staff, fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment. Promote professional development and scholarly activities among faculty and staff.
  • Student Success: Support the university’s mission to provide the number one student experience through leading student success initiatives that ensure access to high-quality educational programs, advising, and career development opportunities. Advocate and support initiatives that promote diversity and inclusive excellence within the college.
  • Curriculum Enhancement: Collaborate with faculty to enhance curriculum offerings and keep them relevant to industry trends and technological advancements. Promote innovative teaching methods and experiential learning opportunities aligned with the University’s strategic plan.
  • Accreditation and Compliance: Ensure that all programs within the college meet accreditation standards and comply with university policies and regulations.
  • Core Values: champion the established core values: Integrity, Respect, Diversity, Patriotism, Excellence, and Self-Reliance.


Clemson University is seeking a strategic and visionary leader with the following qualifications:

  • A terminal degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in a relevant field within agriculture, forestry, or life sciences.
  • A distinguished record of excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service commensurate with a tenured faculty appointment at the rank of full professor within the college.
  • Proven leadership experience in an academic setting, preferably at the level of dean, associate dean, department chair, or equivalent.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with faculty, staff, students, and external partners.
  • Visionary thinking and the ability to develop and implement a strategic plan.
  • Demonstrated fiscal responsibility and resource management skills.
  • Dedication to the land-grant mission, an appreciation for the complexity of the college’s faculty and staff, and the demonstrated ability to collaborate with a wide array of stakeholders to enhance South Carolina’s community.
  • An understanding of and appreciation for the value of fundamental and applied research across the range of disciplines represented within CAFLS, including technology transfer and the commercialization of academic research.
  • Record of success with obtaining extramural funding and working collaboratively with alumni, donors and state agency partners to secure beneficial partnerships.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain appropriate alliances with external stakeholders for research, teaching and outreach opportunities.

Application Instructions:

The Screening Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, complete CV, and list of five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted via Interfolio. The priority deadline is February 29th, 2024, however, the position will remain open until filled.

Please direct any confidential inquiries, nominations or questions to the search firm assisting the University:

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President

Erin Raines, Senior Principal

Parker Executive Search

Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875

Atlanta, GA 30328

770-804-1996 ext. 117 ||

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:
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.


Working at Clemson University

Clemson is a dynamic research university located in Upstate South Carolina at the center of the booming I-85 corridor between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. One of the nation’s most selective public research universities according to U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Clemson University is the school of choice among top students in South Carolina and is increasingly competitive for the best students in the region and the nation. More than 17,100 students select from 70 undergraduate and 100 graduate degree programs through five academic colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life SciencesArchitecture, Arts and HumanitiesBusiness and Behavioral ScienceEngineering and Science; and Health, Education and Human Development.

Clemson’s transformation into a leading research institution — currently attracting in excess of $140 million in externally funded research and sponsored program awards per year — is based upon an academic plan that identifies eight emphasis areas in which the University has opportunities to increase education and research, to align with South Carolina’s economic development needs and to draw upon faculty strengths. Emphasis areas include automotive and transportation technology, advanced materials, biotechnology and biomedical sciences, leadership and entrepreneurship, sustainable environment, information and communication technology, family and community living, and general education.

Major economic development initiatives that have emerged from the academic plan include the Clemson International Center for Automotive Research — a 250-acre campus in Greenville, which has generated more than $225 million in public and private commitments in just four years; an advanced materials initiative at the Clemson Research Park, which includes a new LEED Silver-certified facility; and the South Carolina Health Sciences Collaborative — an initiative of the state’s three research universities and major health-care systems.

As the state’s land-grant university, Clemson reaches out to citizens, communities and businesses all over South Carolina. The Public Service Activities division includes the county-based Cooperative Extension Service, five off-campus research and education centers through the Clemson University Experiment Station and critical regulatory responsibilities for plant and animal health.

The University boasts a 1,400-acre campus on the shores of Lake Hartwell within view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Surrounding the campus are 18,000 acres of University farms and woodlands devoted to research. A warm campus environment, great weather and recreational activities offered by proximity to both the natural surroundings and large cities are part of the Clemson Experience.


Points of interest at Clemson include the following:

The Clemson Conference Center and Inn is a state-of-the-art facility for symposia, meetings, seminars and special events. The complex includes the Madren Continuing Education and Conference Center, the Walker Golf Course and the Martin Inn.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden, a 295-acre public garden, features several thousand varieties of ornamental plants and a unique collection of nature-based sculptures.

The Robert Howell Brooks Center for the Performing Arts brings an exciting array of concert, theater, dance, comedy and other live performances to the community.

The Robert Campbell Geology Museum at the Botanical Garden displays meteorites, minerals, dinosaur fossils and the largest faceted-stone collection in the Southeast.

The T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena is a showplace for livestock activities in the state and has hosted horse and livestock shows, rodeos, sales, 4-H activities, educational programs, and industrial and agricultural exhibitions.

Fort Hill, the home of John C. Calhoun and later of his son-in-law, University founder Thomas Green Clemson, is a registered National Historic Landmark located in the center of campus.

The Class of 1944 Visitors Center is the front door to Clemson — a friendly place to get tours, information, assistance and an introduction to this beautiful, historic university and community.

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