Physics and Astronomy

A Message from the Department Chair

Change is coming to Clemson Physics and Astronomy. The creation of a new College of Science is the most significant element of the university’s college reorganization plan. There are both opportunities and risks for Physics and Astronomy in this plan. We will move from the largest college to a relatively small one, with four other like-minded departments. Most of the essential work of the university: teaching, research, and service, are accomplished by the faculty in departments. Colleges, at their best, simply facilitate this work. It is becoming clear that the new college will have to be constructed over the next several months mostly by the faculty and leadership of the Science and Mathematics departments, rather than by the central administration. This will be a challenge in our environment of limited resources, but we will have the opportunity to define our priorities and values. We learned from the previous reorganization twenty-one years ago that for a sound department to thrive a reasonably well-organized college can be more important than shared philosophy. Now we have a chance to develop both. We have enjoyed a successful run in the current College of Engineering and Science, including many fruitful collaborations with researchers who will remain in CoES. We expect to continue those, and to develop new and stronger connections to our Life Sciences units. Watch this space to see how it turns out. At least the next few Chair’s messages will be authored by Terry Tritt, who is taking over as Interim Chair.