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

Clemson University
South Carolina, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Jan 9, 2024

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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.


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

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 ||


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