Program for Public Discourse
Senior Associate Dean for Research and Innovation
College of Arts & Sciences
Chris Clemens is Senior Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Arts & Sciences and served as interim Faculty Director for the Program for Public Discourse in its inaugural year. As senior associate dean, Clemens drives strategic planning and guides the College’s academic divisions and research programs, fostering new models of innovation, new initiatives and new collaborations.
Previously, Clemens served as senior associate dean for natural sciences, where his accomplishments included drafting a plan and funding proposal for the pilot of the Institute for Convergent Science; working with chair Jaye Cable to launch the new Environment, Ecology and Energy program, E3P; collaborating with chairs to build the research enterprise and developing the curriculum in the College’s newest departments — applied physical sciences and biomedical engineering; assisting in the search for a new director of the Institute for the Environment; and leading the College’s distinguished professor selection committee.
A stellar astrophysicist with a B.S. in astrophysics from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin, Clemens came to UNC in 1998 after completing a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship at Iowa State University and a Sherman Fairchild Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship at Caltech. Before becoming senior associate dean for natural sciences, Clemens served as chair of the department of physics and astronomy at UNC for four years.