CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The chairman of the West Virginia University Board of Governors said Monday Clemson was “relentless” in its pursuit of WVU President Jim Clements to be its next president.
Clements took the job and was introduced Monday.
WVU BOG Chairman Jim Dailey II told MetroNews Clemson wasn’t the only university seeking Clements to be its next president.
“He was sought after by many other institutions over this country over the last several months,” Dailey said.
Clements’ 5 years in Morgantown have been record-setting when it comes to enrollment, fundraising and research and other universities noticed Dailey said. He believes Clements has improved the profile of the president’s job in Morgantown and that will bring top flight candidates to replace him.
“It’s an outstanding job to recruit for,” Dailey predicted Monday. “I think that’s been demonstrated by some of the new hires that Jim has brought on to the university.”
Dailey said Clements spoke with him about the Clemson job assuring him that he loved WVU but couldn’t pass up the Clemson position for a number of reasons including the future needs of his special needs daughter Grace.
“As a family it has to be upmost in their minds because it’s a lifelong commitment for them and their entire family. Not just Jim and Beth alone, but their entire family that surrounds that special child of theirs,” Dailey said.
The family of President Clements’ wife, Beth, lives near the campus. She’s had 2 brothers and a sister-in-law to graduate from Clemson.
In his letter to WVU, Clements said his daughter Grace ”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.”
Chairman Dailey said the WVU Board of Governors would next appoint an interim president and then decide on how it will search for the university’s 24th president. Dailey, for one, believes the next person needs to have the same high-energy and drive that Clements has had the last 5 years.
“That’s the type of individual that we need because things have been so good and the people are working so well together,” Dailey said.