Chief of Strategy and Operations (CSO) at Clemson University

Posted in Executive 21 days ago.

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Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Job Description:

Clemson University's new College of Science invites nominations and applications for a seasoned, executive financial strategist to join our team as the Chief of Strategy and Operations (CSO).

Clemson's College of Science is looking for a highly effective leader to partner with the Founding Dean and leadership team as we collectively advance science forward at Clemson. The College of Science's CSO will lead both the implementation of strategic priorities and the operations teams that will support our faculty and staff to achieve the college's vision of excellence in discovery, learning and engagement.

Reporting directly to the dean, the CSO will oversee business and financial affairs for the college, to include optimizing the impact of current resources, develop and implement a framework for strategic budgeting and accountability, and work with the leadership team to expand entrepreneurial revenues. Serving as a critical member of the leadership team, the CSO will drive evidenced based decision-making and actionable strategy with an emphasis on collaboration, inclusivity, and innovation. The CSO will promote and facilitate information sharing, external and internal benchmarking, and continuous improvement. The CSO will be responsible for leadership and development of support staff in the dean's office, including teams devoted to administrative support, marketing and communications, human resources and budgeting, facilities, and information technology.

Strategic Leadership — The CSO will be responsible for assisting the dean with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining college strategic initiatives.

  1. Lead the implementation of Clemson's Science Forward strategic plan.
  2. Lead benchmarking with institutional and external data of Science Forward metrics.
  3. Align resources with advancing the Science Forward implementation plan.
  4. Define a set of clear and appropriate metrics/goals to measure and enhance operational effectiveness and organizational impact.

Operations Leadership — The CSO will lead and manage cross functional support teams to enhance the impact of Science at Clemson.

  1. As the “CFO” for the college, provide leadership in all fiscal affairs including the development and implementation of a framework for strategic budgeting, resource reallocation, and the expansion of entrepreneurial resources. (~ a $40M budget)
  2. Lead and manage cross-functional teams (budget/HR, IT, marketing and communications, facilities, and administrative support) that work across the college to support the collective impact of Science at Clemson.
  3. Lead development and implementation of college's policies/best practices to achieve consistency, efficiency, and support excellence.
  4. Lead the optimization of space through analysis of current facilities footprint and recommend strategic space reallocation and expansion of existing space.
  5. Provide senior leadership for the daily operations of the college.

The New College of Science

In 2016, the Clemson University Board of Trustees approved a 10-year strategic plan grounded in Clemson's historical strengths but focused solidly on the future and the challenges facing South Carolina, the nation and the world in the 21st century. The plan aims to ensure that Clemson fulfills its core mission and consistently ranks among the nation's top-20 public universities and Carnegie tier-one research institutions. The Clemson Forward plan is available at

The Clemson Forward Plan directed the building of a new world-class College of Science. Our collective footprint (life, physical, and mathematical sciences) has the power to be both locally relevant and globally impactful as we harness our talents to improve lives and understand the natural world. Our College of Science team consists of 250 faculty, 100 staff, 2500 undergraduates, and more than 600 graduate students. Together with other stakeholders we have embarked upon Science Forward to guide our strategic priorities and hold us accountable to our aspirations. More information on the College of Science is available at

About Clemson University

Clemson University is a selective, public, R1-rated research university in a college town. Established in 1899 through the will of the founder, Thomas Green Clemson, the land-grant university is located in upstate South Carolina in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains and along Lake Hartwell, near parks, forests and the South Carolina Botanical Garden. Clemson is a short 40-minute drive from Greenville and two hours from both Atlanta and Charlotte. The University provides bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in more than 100 majors through 7 academic colleges: the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; the College of Education; and the College of Science. Also, the University has extension offices in every county of the state, teaching and research sites in four South Carolina cities (Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Greenwood) and four international sites. Clemson has 1,524 faculty members and 3,373 staff members working with Clemson's enrollment of 18,599 undergraduate and 4,507 graduate students.

About the City of Clemson

Clemson is a city of approximately 14,000 year-round residents that swells to 100,000 on home football games in the fall. It is in Pickens County, South Carolina. The Clemson area, located in the northwest corner of the state in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is at the lakefront of Lake Hartwell, a large man-made lake with great fishing, swimming and boating. Clemson enjoys a moderate temperature year round with average temperatures in January of 30°F to 50°F and in August of 69°F to 90°F. The area was once home to John C. Calhoun (father-in-law to Thomas Green Clemson) and General Andrew Pickens. The Calhoun home, today called Fort Hill, still stands on the Clemson University campus.

Clemson's median household income is $35,529, and the median household income in the state of South Carolina is $47,238. The city of Clemson operates with the Clemson Police Department, Clemson University Fire Department and Pickens County EMS, for public safety needs. All departments are staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The average commute in Pickens County is a mere 23.4 minutes, and the Clemson Area Transit offers free transportation (known as the CAT bus) to all riders. The city is also served by Amtrak on the Crescent route.

The closest major airport is Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), located a 45-minute drive away. The school district is Pickens County. Children living in the city of Clemson attend Clemson Elementary School, RC Edwards Middle School and Daniel High School. Clemson is served in the United States Senate by Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and in the House by Jeff Duncan. Residents also enjoy access to the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, the 18-hole Walker Golf Course, the Cooper Library, the South Carolina Botanical Garden and the Bob Campbell Geology Museum on the Clemson University campus. In addition, the University has 19 NCAA teams and numerous intramural and club sports. Downtown Greenville, located approximately 30 minutes from Clemson, offers a thriving entertainment, dining and cultural scene and is home to the Greenville Drive, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., are within a two-hour drive from Clemson, while outdoors lovers can be in the mountains of North Carolina in an hour or enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and more at one of several South Carolina state parks within a 45-minute drive of Clemson.


Professional Experiences and Talents

  • Bachelor's degree* and 7+ years of professional experience and demonstrated evidence of leading multiple direct reports and functional areas in major initiatives.
  • Experience creating and managing complex organizational and departmental budgets and leveraging multiple streams of resources while maintaining financial integrity.
  • Experience leading and managing with a proven record of success in building and scaling strategic initiatives for innovative organizations, leading highly effective and talented teams, and driving strategy and planning across complex programs.
  • Exceptional analytical, writing, and communication skills.
  • Evidence of leading change while using evidence, outcomes, and research to inform strategy.
  • An authentic belief in the power of diverse teams to deliver high-impact results.
  • Ability to navigate ambiguity and change with flexibility and thrive in a fast paced, highly collaborative work environment.

* An advanced degree is preferred

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and the contact information for three references via Interfolio. Applicants who apply by January 8, 2018 will receive full consideration, however, the position shall remain open until filled.

The search committee will review applications on January 8, 2018.

Share This Career Opportunity!

Nominations and inquiries concerning the position may be directed to Melody Land at

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information.

Clemson University is focused on strengthening inclusive excellence and the College of Science is seeking applications from candidates who have inclusive instinct.


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