Celebrating another academic year; and this time in person!

Tanju Karanfil
Tanju Karanfil

For the past year, I have been living my professional life through a tiny square video screen on my computer. Adjusting to Zoom was difficult at first. Feedback would ring through our speakers when we didn’t mute our microphones. We would speak at the same time and then sit awkwardly silent while waiting for the other to continue. No, you first, please.

Now, we excel at meeting virtually, but I really miss seeing you in person.

I hope we can see each other on May 4 at this year’s Research Symposium, which will be a hybrid event with sessions available on Zoom and in-person at the Watt Family Innovation Center. In-person attendance requires advance registration. Register online here. Those attending via Zoom do not need to register.

The images includes a blue circle with the words "Researcher of the Year" in the top left corner and the words "2021 Nominees, click to read more "at the top right." The rest of the image includes a collage of headshots of Clemson faculty members.
Click the image for information on the nominees for 2021 Researcher of the Year.

One of the highlights of the Research Symposium, to me, is celebrating our Researchers of the Year and our recipients of the University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Awards. For Researcher of the Year, each college nominates a senior faculty member and a junior faculty member who received their terminal degree within the past 10 years. We have outstanding nominees, and I want to congratulate all of them. Regardless of who wins, being nominated by your peers in your colleges is an incredible honor; and it is priceless! Congratulations! Meet the Researcher of the Year nominees here and tune in at the Research Symposium May 4 as we announce the winners.

Research momentum

This has been an unforgettable academic year. There have been and continue to be many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those challenges make the collective accomplishments of our research enterprise even more impressive:

  • Clemson total R&D expenditures has continued to increase in 2020, reaching $229 million, highest since 2013.
  • Fiscal Year 2021 new research awards are up 46 percent at $117 million through February when compared to the same period the prior fiscal year.
  • You are publishing more papers and being increasingly cited, a sign your work is relevant and highly regarded by the scholarly community. Published papers have increased 29 percent since 2014, and citations are up 44 percent.
  • Clemson junior faculty are increasingly successful earning prestigious early career awards. So far this year, Clemson faculty have earned eight CAREER Awards from the NSF.

More impressive than the numbers you are putting up is the impact you are having. My latest report to the Board of Trustees, which you can read here, includes some examples of that impact and the significant recognition you have received.

I am inspired by your commitment and dedication to scholarship and discovery at Clemson. Thank you.

–Tanju