Letter from President Barker


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Dear Clemson:


In recent weeks I have learned that the words "One Clemson" are easy to say
but harder to live. However, any success we've had as an institution is the
result of operating as a unified institution. That does not mean everyone
at Clemson thinks the same and never disagrees. In fact, a great university
is one that welcomes a free exchange of ideas, encourages debate and is not
afraid of change. Such exchanges are healthy and productive. However, we
are in danger of becoming deeply divided because of questions and
misperceptions about our process for admitting student-athletes. To have a
healthy discussion, we must all have the same facts and discuss them in an
atmosphere of respect and courtesy.


Let's start with facts about our general admissions process. Nearly 14,000
students applied to attend Clemson this fall, and about half of them will
be turned down because of objective criteria such as grades, class rank and
test scores. Some of those who are denied will appeal the decision, which
means they will appear before a board of faculty and admissions officers
who will consider each student on a case-by-case basis. It is by nature a
subjective process that offers a second chance.


By NCAA regulations, our process for admitting student-athletes is similar.
Those who do not meet objective criteria are sent to an appeals board
comprising faculty, admissions officers and Vickery Hall staff. They
consider each appeal on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of determining
whether or not an individual can be successful at Clemson. The committee's
purpose is to identify reasons to admit, not deny. If they do deny
admission, the decision can be appealed to the Provost by the Athletic
Director. Because the process is subjective, it is not infallible. At times
we admit a student who does not qualify under NCAA guidelines, and at times
we deny a student who goes on to be successful at another institution.


There is evidence that our system works well. We are bringing outstanding
recruits to Clemson, and our graduation success rate (a new NCAA mandate)
is among the nation's highest. There is also evidence that the process may
need to be evaluated and revised. The bottom line is that our process is
not perfect, but it also is not a barrier to competitiveness as some have
suggested.


Any administrative process can usually be improved through thoughtful
analysis and review. Few are improved through hasty changes made in anger
or in response to criticism. I will commit that Clemson will conduct a
thorough review of its process, with full involvement of faculty,
admissions officials and athletics staff. Ultimately we may decide to keep
the process we have, make minor modifications, tighten standards further,
or create an entirely new system. My only directive will be that we have a
process that maintains academic integrity while not putting Clemson at a
competitive disadvantage. This is not a competition between academics and
athletics: it's between Clemson and all the institutions who are recruiting
the same students.


One of the hallmarks of Clemson is its competitive spirit. We love to win,
and we have chosen to compete at the championship level. We know that we
cannot be successful unless we are able to recruit, retain and graduate
talented student-athletes. But we also insist on winning with integrity,
and we have proven that we can do both.


Sincerely,


James F. Barker, FAIA
President

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Subject (Replies: 27) Author
Letter from President Barker
B-Meist®
That explains NOTHING*****
CLEMSON96JDH
What the #### do you want him to say***
deleted
FREE JO JO!***
The Bad Andino
Re: What the #### do you want him to say***
cubobby80
Makes sense, but why not address the issue of the timing of
FootballFan36
Read the statement from TDP. He explains that it was their
deleted
he said that in one instance...
TygerMan
I don't see the words "Jo Jo" or "Jones" anywhere in
deleted
i see the reason why you have "loco" in your handle*
TygerMan
I fail to see the reason you have "Tyger" in your's. You
deleted
nope... care about other sports as well...
TygerMan
The applicant pool at Clemson has gotten better, but despite
Judge Keller
Re: The applicant pool at Clemson has gotten better, but despite
RockyMountainHigh
Thats not really a fair comparison. In the late 1800s, it
deleted
Re: President Barker just PWNED all of you!***
tigergal_foofoo
Re: Letter from President Barker
CU72Tiger®
Re: Letter from President Barker
cubobby80
Yeah! And I heard he's a communist Nazi!!! BURN HIM!!!***
cucmg
Bark, I fail to see how we are competing at a "championship"
Tigerpride2
Re: Bark, I fail to see how we are competing at a "championship"
cubobby80
Re: Letter from President Barker
hc1975
Re: Letter from President Barker
2StripeTiger®
Take the crosshairs off the Prez.
Catchthattiger
While i agree, would you pay hundreds or even thousands
Clemsontyger04
Notre Dame, UNC, and UGA say "Hi"***
RPMcMurphy
Evidence for Board Success?
pshuey21
Barker: You're missing the big picture.
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