President Clements Leaves WVU for Clemson

Yesterday, Nov. 11, 2013, WVU President James P. Clements announced his departure from West Virginia University. He spent his day in Clemson, S.C. making his first impression as Clemson University’s 15th President.

This news may have come as a shock to many WVU students and Mountaineer fans everywhere, but Clements felt as if he received an offer that he and his family just could not refuse. The career change was not due to any monetary reason, according to The Charleston Gazette,  as he will make the same $775,000 salary he made at WVU. It was more personal for Clements and his family.

After being announced as the new President of the South Carolina university, Clements released a letter to the WVU community to make everyone aware of his reasoning for leaving.

“When my family arrived at WVU we didn’t realize how much we would fall in love with the state and the university. Beth and I knew that it would be very difficult for any university to convince us to leave WVU. However, Clemson is a university that is very special to our family. Beth’s family lives near the university and her two brothers, and a sister-in-law, are graduates of Clemson, said Clements.

I wasn’t looking to leave WVU. In fact, when I first was called I simply responded that I love WVU, the students, faculty and staff and the community. However, after much thought, reflection and prayer, Beth and I decided that this is an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.”

Clements closed the letter with a statement that could make a true Mountaineer misty-eyed.

“We are very proud of what we accomplished together. We wish you all the very best in the future. May God Bless the entire Mountaineer Nation now and always!”

So what does this mean for WVU?

According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Clements departure date has not been set. WVU board chairman James W. Dailey II says that interim leadership plans will be announced in the coming days and weeks until a more permanent decision can be made.

Although it was a sad day for Mountaineers everywhere, many people reached out to show their appreciation for all that Clements has done for WVU during his time here.


10 thoughts on “President Clements Leaves WVU for Clemson

  1. Great post Maddi! I’m really glad you decided to do this post. I know a lot of people including myself were shocked at the news. President Clements is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I felt really betrayed to find out last minute via Clemson press conference that he was leaving. It honestly reminded me of the Rich Rod press conference at Michigan when he just shocked everyone by leaving. Although I’m disappointed, I do wish President Clements the best at Clemson. It will be hard for WVU to replace such a genuine person.

  2. Maddi-
    This is a really great post on a very sensitive topic. I know this isn’t very “journalistic” of me, but when I first heard the news, I was very upset. President Clements is such a kind man, a great leader, and he has done such a wonderful job as a leader at WVU. However, as I began to research, I found some of the information which you have provided in your links, which showed that he gave great thought to making this move, and I could never begrudge him something that is so great for his family. I’m sure you saw the Storify that the DA did to reflect the student body’s feelings about President Clements’ leave. You did a great job of capturing the sentiment of students, while remaining objective and addressing sensitive issues, such as if he left for more money or not. It was a great read that served as a collaboration of available material all in one place! I really enjoyed it!

  3. Hi Maddi,
    Like you (and countless others), I was so upset to hear the news of his departure. I found out on Twitter, which just goes to show how fast news can spread via social media. I’m so sad to see him go–he was one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. He really stood out to me because he was always genuinely interested in any task he was taking on, and I wish him well, of course. I think you did a nice job of incorporating facts (the salary, his personal connections to Clemson, etc), while incorporating tweets, which I loved! When I found out he was leaving, one of my first thoughts after my initial shock was “I’m glad Oliver Luck isn’t going to Texas.” Could you imagine?! Someone might think the university would implode on itself with the Athletic Director and President leaving. I hope WVU can find someone with a similar genuine personality and disposition, who does their best to get to know the students on more than just a 700# basis.

  4. YES! I was hoping someone would take this subject on because it’s so timely of an issue. Also, I was looking right away for the Twitter reaction from students, and found it here. I like how you put a link to the message to WVU in the article. Also, it was a nice addition that you put a video to his announcement to Clemson. Great job!

  5. Good eye for story potential here. You do well tying together multiple threads of information. The tweets add a layer too, although it’s a shame to see them sunk down at the bottom. In fact, it might have made your story stronger if they were the focus – we can go to the Gazette’s or Post-Gazette’s site to read the main story, but your bringing together of WVU reactions is something more unique to this site. Big props for moving on this!

  6. This was a great post about something that is greatly affecting WVU right now. Much like everyone else I was very shocked to hear the news of Clements departure to Clemson, especially right after all of the rumors of Oliver Luck leaving here for Texas. To my understanding there are many people who are upset about this news and I could see why. It’ll be very interesting to see how things turn out over the next few weeks.

  7. Nice job at posting something very timely and relevant. As a WVU student, my initial reaction was: he can take Dana and Oliver Luck with him! Mountaineer football has always meant a lot more to me than just a sport. It’s a pride thing, and when you’re brought up to love WVU football, you take it personal when it suffers. Maybe this is the beginning of some change for WVU. Clements loved Luck. Luck loves Dana. With Clements gone, who’s to say Luck won’t be far behind, all depending on who becomes our next president. Change can be a good thing!

  8. You did a great job of a really timely subject for WVU. I, personally, was shocked and a little sad to hear of President Clements’ departure, especially since I had the pleasure to meet him several times. He did great things for this university, and WVU will be hard pressed to find someone even equally as good to fill his shoes. I think the tweets you added were also great and added a lot to this story.

  9. Great post! Good insight into the topic and adding your own voice to it. Made it feel more personal and did a good job of connecting with the readers. The inclusion of pictures and tweets added a whole new element to the post. Whether they are from faculty or students, this made the post more appealing to readers.

  10. There’s a lot deeper story as to why he transferred, but as far as I can tell, his tenure ends at the end of this year.

    God only knows we won’t find another president that will do as much for us as students. The HEPC should have done a better job to make sure he stayed, in my opinion.

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