Clemson President Jim Barker is going back to being an architecture professor after 14 years leading the school.
Barker announced in a video message to students Tuesday that he will stay on as president until trustees pick his replacement, and then will return to teaching.
“Last week, I asked the board of trustees to begin a search for the 15thpresident of Clemson University. I have pledged to remain until the new president is on board. I will then begin preparing myself for my next career as a faculty member in the School of Architecture,” he said.
The 65-year-old Barker had emergency heart surgery in January to bypass five blockages, but he says he is in good health and feels like it is the right time to hand off leadership of the university to someone else.
Barker became president in 1999 and has worked to improve Clemson's academics.
Barker also backed Clemson's International Center for Automotive Research and a new project to test wind turbines on the South Carolina coast.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve my alma mater as president for nearly 14 years. I look forward to becoming one of Clemson's most loyal and active volunteers,” Barker said.