James P. Clements became Clemson University’s 15th president on December 31, 2013, after serving nearly five years as president of West Virginia University. He succeeded Jim Barker, who retired after 14 years as Clemson’s president. He is also a Professor in the School of Computing, College of Engineering and Science, at Clemson.
Clements is a nationally recognized leader in higher education who currently serves as Chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, North America’s oldest higher education association. Annually, APLU’s 235 member institutions enroll 4.7 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.1 million degrees and conduct $41 billion in university-based research.
Clements is also Chair of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Commission on Leadership; co-chairs the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE); is a member of the Business Higher Education Forum; serves as academic co-chair of the Automotive Sector of the Council on Competitiveness-Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Partnership (EMCP); and is national co-chair of APLU’s Energy Forum. He previously served on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Innovation Advisory Board, where he was the only university president in the country to serve in that role.
He holds a B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Analysis from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. He has published and/or 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-PI on more than $15 million in research grants. During Clements’ tenure at WVU, the university set records in private fund-raising, enrollment, research and patients served through the health system, and reached 95 percent of its $750 million capital campaign goal two years ahead of schedule.
Prior to his service at WVU, Clements served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Economic and 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. He also led the Center for Applied Information Technology, which was a strategic, entrepreneurial initiative for the university, chaired Towson’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and was a consultant to numerous private-sector companies. His Successful Project Management book is now in its 6th edition and is published in multiple languages and used in numerous countries.
Clements and his wife, Beth, have four children.