Nigel Clark, who shepherded the formation of West Virginia University’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future as chair of the Strategic Planning Council, has been named associate vice president for academic planning.

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WVU Strategic Planning Co-Chairs, Provost Michele Wheatly and Chancellor for Health Sciences Christopher Colenda, announced Dr. Clark’s appointment Monday (Feb. 14), noting it takes effect immediately and will be the key leadership position in achieving the goals set forth by the Council. The Board of Governors endorsed the strategic plan earlier this month.

Clark, a member of the faculty since 1984, has been engaged in the WVU planning process from the very beginning, Wheatly and Colenda said, and has a deep understanding of and appreciation for the University’s strengths and its unique mission.

In addition to chairing the 43-person Strategic Planning Council, Clark has been involved in faculty governance for many years and served as chair of the Faculty Senate from 2008-2009.

“We are delighted that Dr. Clark has agreed to provide leadership to our strategic planning efforts,” Dr. Wheatly said. “He has very capably led the WVU Strategic Planning Council for the past several months, and has extraordinary credibility on campus and at our integrated regional campuses as a researcher, educator and engaged member of our University community.

“Through his role as Faculty Senate chair and as chair of the SPC, he has demonstrated a depth of understanding of WVU and its unique culture that would be hard to match,” she said.

Wheatly said Clark’s communication skills and unique style of authenticity also put people at ease – an important asset to this position.

During the planning process, he was also able to “integrate the broader planning initiative with parallel processes at the Health Sciences Center,” said Dr. Colenda.

“Nigel has championed the position that the strategic plan, and the implementation of the strategic plan, must lead to raising our national and international stature,” Colenda said. “All we have to do is examine his career and to follow in his footsteps. If we do so, we will succeed beyond our wildest dreams.”

Wheatly added: “The 2020 plan is ambitious with a number of moving parts. Keeping momentum will be important to the future of WVU and the state of West Virginia. WVU is fortunate to have a person of Dr. Clark’s stature and capability poised and prepared to provide leadership from within.”

Clark said he is thrilled to lead the implementation efforts.

“Implementing the plan throughout WVU will be a complex task, but also rewarding and exciting,” Clark said. “We must be innovative and industrious in raising our flagship stature and realizing our evolving land-grant mission.”

A professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering with a focus on alternative fuels, engines and emissions research, he is the George Berry Chair of Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

He also served as director of the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions from 2004-2009, leading teams of faculty, staff and students in energy and environmental programs that address international issues. He is a nationally recognized researcher and speaker, was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

He earned his undergraduate degree and Ph.D from the University of Natal in South Africa.

In his new role, Clark will report to the provost, and spend 75 percent of his time in his new role and the remainder involved in academic research.

For the latest information on WVU’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future, visit:



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