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Clemson University hires KU professor to lead biology department


Clemson University in South Carolina has hired away a professor in KU's molecular biosciences department, according to this Clemson news release.

Robert Cohen, a professor of molecular biosciences at KU right now, will go to Clemson to become chairman of its biological sciences department. At Clemson, that's in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

Cohen earned tenure at KU in 1996 and was promoted to full professor in 2005. Before that, according to the Clemson release, he was on the faculty at Columbia University in New York. He'll start at Clemson on July 1.

A few facts about Clemson, since I went through the trouble of looking it up: It is not a member of the Association of American Universities as KU is, its endowment was less than half the size of KU's as of 2012 at about $483 million and it ranked No. 68 in the most recent U.S. News and World Report "Best Colleges" rankings to KU's No. 106.

No word on the local campus blogging situation at Clemson, though if there are any blogs I'm sure their readers are not nearly as helpful as mine. You're so helpful you didn't even need me to butter you up like I just did there for you to send a KU news tip or two to merickson@ljworld.com.

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  • Comments

    EJ Mulligan 4 years, 8 months ago

    I believe his wife is also a KU faculty member -- any word if she is going to Clemson, as well?

    merickson 4 years, 8 months ago

    You're the second person who's brought up that point — thank you — and I'm looking into it. I'll post an update when I find out.



    Big5 4 years, 8 months ago

    Cohen was one of the top professors at the University. Great guy who dedicated lots of time and energy into KU. Wife is going there also and coincidentally was also a great professor at KU. It is sad to see them go. I would suspect that the lack of commitment by the Brownback administration to higher education will cause KU to lose many of its quality professors. Not surprising that our school has fallen to number 106 in U.S. News and World Report rankings with the lack of funding and Republican abandonment of higher education. I'm sure the American Association of Universities and others are taking notice of tenured professors fleeing our State.

    giraffe 4 years, 8 months ago

    Brownback is guilty of many things, but you really cannot blame this one on him. Bob Cohen was one of the most capable scientists in his department, but for various reasons it can be really tough to succeed at KU, either as a researcher or as a leader. Especially when one makes very unfortunate choices in role models.

    When I saw Bob's picture in the Clemson news release, I couldn't help but smile at how happy he looked. I'm sure he will be a successful Chair, so long as honesty and concern for others are given highest priority. Bob and Vicki are both very capable and decent people, and I wish them well.

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