President, Clemson University
James P. Clements became Clemson University’s 15th president on Dec. 31, 2013. Since his arrival, the value of the Tiger Paw has never been higher, thanks to an increasing academic reputation and the national exposure from our recent success in athletics.
Under Clements’ leadership, Clemson has raised the bar in admissions, enrollment, research, athletics, graduation and retention rates, and fundraising, including the successful completion of the $1 billion Will to Lead capital campaign. In addition, the campus is currently undergoing the largest construction boom in the history of the university.
Clements is a nationally recognized leader in higher education who has served as president of a university in three different athletic conferences – the Big East, the Big 12, and the ACC – where he also served as the 2016-17 chair of the ACC Council of Presidents. He also was awarded an honorary degree as Doctor of Public Education from his Alma Mater, the University of Maryland – Baltimore County.
Before he came to Clemson, Clements served as the president of West Virginia University for nearly five years. During that time, WVU set significant records in private fundraising, enrollment, academic rankings and research funding.
He was a leader in West Virginia – chairing the boards of the West Virginia United Health System, the WVU Hospitals and the WVU Research Corporation. And while he loved his time at WVU, he decided he would leave for only one institution – Clemson University.
Clements was born in Arlington, Va., but spent the majority of his life in Maryland before relocating to West Virginia and until his move to Clemson.
The grandson of a coal miner and a firefighter, and son to parents who taught him and his three older siblings that education was the key to a better life, Clements is a first generation college graduate. This was a key reason he pursued a life and career in higher education – to give others the same opportunity he was given by getting a formal education.
He has published and presented more than 75 papers in the fields of computer science, higher education, information technology, project management and strategic planning. He also served as principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $15 million in research grants.
Prior to his service at WVU, Clements served as provost and vice president for academic affairs, vice president for Economic Development & Community Outreach and the Robert W. Deutsch Distinguished Professor of Information Technology at Towson University, the second largest university in the University System of Maryland, where he was a four-time winner of the Faculty Member-of-the-Year Award, given by Towson students.
Clements’ Successful Project Management book is now in its seventh edition and is published in multiple languages and used in numerous countries.
Clements and his wife, Beth, have been married for 27 years and have four children – Ty, Hannah, Maggie and Grace – and two sons-in-law, Tanner Coombs and Max Kinser.