Clemson University's Board of Trustees this morning selected West Virginia University President James P. Clements as Clemson's 15th president.
Clements will succeed James F. Barker, who announced plans to retire in April after serving 14 years as president. Barker will remain on the faculty of the School of Architecture.
"Dr. 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," said Clemson board Chairman David Wilkins.
Prior to assuming the WVU presidency, Clements served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Towson University, the second-largest public university in Maryland. He had previously been 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.
"We are so excited to be joining the Clemson family. 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," Clements said.
WVU Board of Governor's Chairman James W. Dailey praised Clements for his work.
"Since the hiring of Jim Clements in 2009, West Virginia University has experienced unprecedented success in many areas private giving, enrollment, academics, research funding, health care, community service, economic development and so much more," Dailey said in a statement. "Of course he will say it is because he has had a great team, but it's more than that.
"Jim is a natural born leader someone who understands the higher education climate. He is committed to excellence. He stands for integrity and is a champion for this university and its diverse audiences from students and their parents, to faculty and staff, to donors and funders, to city, state and federal lawmakers, to opinion leaders, to our state's citizens and others."
Dailey said the board will begin work on an interim leader to replace Clements followed by a presidential search.
Clements holds statewide, regional and national leadership positions in higher education, health and economic development organizations. On a national level, he 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 that includes Fortune 500 CEOs and higher education executives.
Clements was the only university president selected for a 15-member Innovation Advisory Board to the U.S. Department of Commerce. He was also nominated and participated in the 81st Joint Civilian Orientation Conference through the U.S. Department of Defense.
He is married to Beth Clements, and they have four children: Tyler, twin daughters Hannah and Maggie, and Grace.