MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University president Jim Clements says leaving Morgantown and taking the president’s job at Clemson was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. WVU released this letter from Clements Monday morning:

Almost five years ago my family and I moved to Morgantown, West Virginia. At that time we didn’t really know anyone in the state. We quickly learned that West Virginia is filled with wonderful, hard-working, loyal, and dedicated people – and that West Virginia University is made up of great faculty, staff, administrators, and students. I am so thankful and honored that I had the chance to serve with so many outstanding people in the pursuit of the important land-grant mission at WVU.
Together, we built momentum for our University. We have broken numerous records including many in enrollment, fundraising, and research. We have been blessed to have alumni and friends who give so much to make a difference in the lives of others. The support through private giving has been overwhelming. Our hospital system has grown significantly with WVU health care providers saving lives as they reach out to every corner of the state. Our extension program expanded, and continues to be recognized as the go-to place in the local communities. Although there is much more to do in terms of salaries and benefits for the faculty and staff, we have made critical gains in funding more competitive salaries. We are in the midst of nearly $1 billion in construction projects that will provide an enhanced learning environment, better research labs, patient care, and improved housing for our students. These projects are building a better future for the generations that follow us.
We accepted an invitation into the Big 12 – one of the major power conferences in college athletics. This move was also about a realignment in academics and research with universities that share a common profile and mission with WVU. The benefits of this new partnership will continue to grow over time.
We tried our best to keep tuition low for our students – and we should be proud that our tuition is still several thousand dollars below our peer average both for in-state and out-of-state students. And, through strategic investments and the efforts of our faculty and staff, we have kept our academic quality high. In the past few years our students won numerous national awards, proving time and again that WVU can compete with anyone in the world. And, I am very proud of the fact that during my time at WVU we graduated 25,473 students. The amazing faculty and staff at WVU deserve all of the credit for this accomplishment.
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.
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.
West Virginia and WVU will always have a very special place in our hearts. Three of our children currently attend WVU and they love it. Our son is in his fourth year at WVU and will graduate soon. Our twin daughters recently graduated from Morgantown High School. They are now enjoying their first semester at WVU.
Our youngest daughter Grace, who has special needs, did well at North Elementary School and Suncrest Middle School. She has been surrounded by loving and kind friends. However, as she enters the next phase of her life we believe that having her extended family close to her is something that will be very important.
In addition, Beth and I developed many strong friendships that we will cherish forever. We are so thankful to the large number of people who have been incredibly kind to us and our children.
We are also thankful to the WVU Board of Governors. They are an outstanding group of individuals who truly care about all aspects of the university. Their advice and counsel have been instrumental in our success. We are also thankful for the support of the governor, our elected officials at the state and federal levels, the Higher Education Policy Commission, the senior leadership team at WVU, the WVU Foundation Board, the WVU Alumni Board, the WVU Hospital Boards, the WV United Health System Board, and the wonderful faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of WVU.
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!
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Comments

  • Hal Varian

    If god told Clements he needed to go... what could WVU do? ...

  • Moon

    Thank you so much for your service to our University. God Bless you and your family and good luck at Clemson!

    VR Moon

  • Luther Stiles

    The grass is not always greener on the other side. Ask Coach Rod how it worked out for him. Perhaps the small college in MD will take him back when he bombs out at Clemson. More ego mania!

    • thornton

      Coach who?

  • thornton

    Could there be two more opposite ways in tone and, especially, character to leave WVU for another position than those shown by Mr. Clements and Roots?

    Best of Luck to the Clements.

    • wvangler

      Good point

  • Melvin Meade

    You came at a time WVU was having serious administration problems. You righted the ship and to that we are most thankful. May your tenure at Clemson be as successful.

  • MM

    At least at Clemson he won't have to deal with so many sidewalk alumni..... that don't donate but want to help him make decisions

    • Hailey

      Right

  • D.P.

    Sounds like a wonderfully sincere letter Dr. Clements. But I'm 100% CERTAIN that your INCREASED salary was a VERY BIG factor in your decision!!!

    You mention your wife and her family and having relatives in the area and graduating from Clemson. Do YOU no longer have family in Maryland (2.5-3.0 hours away)??? Between a HIGHER salary and Beth apparently wearing the pants in your family, your reasons for leaving are TOTAL B.S.!!!!!

    • John

      From news reports he is going to Clemson at the same salary he was earning at WVU

    • Greg

      I'm sure he never looks at this website, but isn't this post enough for any reasonable person to shake his head and and press the start button on the fax machine?

      • Greg

        Oh and don't forget WILLIAM's inane posts too!

  • shawn

    William SUCKS

  • Grant

    Move to the Big12, overall improvement in academic ranking, infrastructure improvements everywhere. Job well done. Good luck and God bless!

  • President Clements

    Best of Luck to you and your family. This great state and university were blessed to have you as you've done wonderful things to put this place back in the national spotlight. God Bless you in this move.

  • ratman

    Chris and William you are both idiots. Why always make these articles about something other than what they have to do with. Go back and hide under whatever rocks you crawled out from under.

  • chris

    Thanks for giving us the highest paid special teams coach in the history of ncaa football!! take Deforest with you please.

  • William

    Give Heather Bresch a call
    She would fit right in at WVU
    That's where she picked up her degree at
    She could lead the way, and she knows the ropes!

  • William

    Luck stays
    Clements leaves
    What a terrible day
    Stuck with Luck
    Stuck with Dana"The Man in Black"Holgerson
    Stuck with Bob "Sweatsuit" Huggins

    It's a SAD DAY to be a Mountaineer fan wherever you may be.

    • Chris

      Wow...the ignorance of some of our "fans" is truly astounding.

  • Tom Pendleton

    I hate to see Clements leave. I think he's been a good president. I just hope that his replacement is academically qualified, like Clements, and not a Charleston politician.