Dr. Terry Farris Retires After 23 Years

April 27, 2017

Farris-RetirementDr. Terry Farris was the Founding Director of Clemson’s nationally renowned Master of Real Development Program (2004-2010), a joint initiative between the College of Architecture, Arts & Humanities and the College of Business. The MRED is an interdisciplinary 56-credit, full-time, 12 or 18-month program (based on experience) with courses from MBA/Finance, Law, Planning, Architecture, Construction Science and Real Estate Development. He previously served as the Director of the Master of City and Regional Planning Program for four years prior to founding the MRED program.

Founded in 2004, MRED has admitted 205 students, who graduated from 88 Undergraduate Colleges in 28 States and 6 countries (Brazil, China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and S. Korea).  Approximately 28% of our 205 students have Design/Construction related undergraduate degrees, 48% Business/Finance Related, and 24% Social Science/other related degrees.  He is very proud of the 174 supportive alumni employed in 45 metro areas in 26 States and Asia making better community places.  He is also very proud of the approximately 400 planning students in his classes through the years.

At Clemson since 1994, he has taught Market Analysis, Public-Private Partnership, Mixed-Use Development, and RE Technology.  He also taught Development Process, Resort Development, Planning Administration, Housing and Community Development, Roundtable, and Land Use Law.  For seventeen years, Dr. Farris has taken 15-20 graduate students on a 10-day Coastal trip in May touring premier developments from Myrtle Beach through Charleston to Hilton Head Island and Savannah GA.

Prior to joining academia in 1991, Dr. Farris had a 17-year development planning/consulting, homebuilding, and administrative career in St. Louis. He packaged $1.5 billion of public-private partnership projects in forty cities and ten states.  He came into academia primarily to teach, work with the professional community, and perform some applied research—his  main desire was to work with students and see them become successful in their careers.

Dr. Farris has a BA in Urban Geography from St. Louis University (’72), and a Master of Urban Planning (’74) and PhD in Urban Planning (’96) from Michigan State University.

He received the 2006 “Distinguished Planner” Award by the SC American Planning Association. Dr. Farris was appointed by Governor Sanford as an initial member of the new State Advisory Committee on Educational Requirements for Local Government Planning or Zoning Officials or Employees through 2008. He is the Primary Author of the Urban Land Institute’s Growing by Choice or Chance: State Strategies for Quality Growth in South Carolina.  The MRED Program was a Founding Sponsor of the SC ULI District Council, where he served on the founding Executive Committee.

At the 10th Year Anniversary celebration, MRED Alumni established the Dr. J. Terrence Farris Annual Award for an outstanding graduating MRED student who exhibits outstanding scholastic achievement and interest in public-private partnerships.

In his retirement letter, he thanked all of Clemson’s administration, faculty, staff, Advancement Board, and friends.  He especially thanked the professional community, who has worked with our students in so many ways by participating as mentors, tour guides, lecturers, employers, and general advisors. He indicated that developing the MRED program is the proudest achievement of his life.

He stated, “Most importantly, I want to thank the 205 MRED students/alumni who have formed a tremendous foundation for all of us to build upon. I admire and respect all of you greatly and am proud of your achievements to date—you have many years ahead of you to be great Place Makers—not just builders of projects.  The Future is Developing!  I sincerely look forward to following your careers for many years as you develop that great future.  Do it with honor and integrity, as I know you will.  Go Tigers!”

Dr. Farris lives in Clemson’s Patrick Square. He intends on focusing on his research—at his own pace!—and being involved with community service.  Dr. Farris’s father was nationally-known in the field of urban redevelopment for over forty years. Complemented with Dr. Farris’s 17-year professional and 26-year academic career, he will enjoy writing in essence family history about urban renewal and urban futures.

As Faculty Emeritus, he will continue teaching Public-Private Partnership and the SC Coastal Development Tour.


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