Clemson University has come a long way over the last few years, but is facing a large hurdle after having its budget cut $40 million. In his recent President’s report, school President James Barker presented board members with a report card, assessing the institution’s success so far in achieving the school’s 27 goals set forth in 2001.
The school moved this past year from being the 39th highest-ranked public university in the nation to the 22nd position, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Barker says getting into the top 20 will be a tremendous step forward. ” That means we are well on our way to giving South Carolina and its students a top 20 education, without having to leave the state. Up until this point, you would have to leave the state if you got a Palmetto or Life scholarship (if you wanted a degree from a top 20 school).
The national ranking measures such criteria as graduation rate, S.A.T. scores and the high school performance of incoming freshmen.
At the same time, Barker says that Clemson has had some of the lowest support from the state of any university in the U.S. “How’s that possible? I think we’ve done that by being efficient, being very accountable, being very focused. I don’t think we are where we want to be yet, but we made tremendous progress. I’d say the biggest obstacle in the beginning was self concept. But now I’d say the biggest obstacle is having enough resources to be able to do that.”
Barker says now the school just hopes to hold onto the status it has achieved, until the economy and state funding get better.