IT and the Creative Campus: A Partnership Jim boTtum

From my time at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I knew that students were the key to drive innovation and create the future.
Mosaic changed the way we viewed the network - it enabled what would become the World Wide Web through the world's first widely adopted web browser. Marc Andressen, founder of Netscape, worked at NCSA as a student worker and led the team that developed Mosaic.
Jim Guerard of Adobe helped me see that I was of the PowerPoint generation – and that evolution is critical to preparing students for the future.

We - as educators, IT professionals, and creators - must re-envision ourselves and our organizations as partners in creativity and discovery on our campuses.

Adobe Digital Studio | Cooper Library, Clemson University

Our partnership with Adobe has helped us to...

  1. Engage in cross-cutting, multidisciplinary collaborations across campus - most notably connecting with the humanities.
  2. Re-couple IT training initiatives to the university's mission and pushed us to expand more relevant training on Adobe tools.
  3. Expand access to Adobe's Creative Cloud enabling students to be more competitive in the job market.

Changing Business Models on Campuses

Prior to 2014, Clemson Adobe licensing was decentralized, meaning some users enjoyed campus licensing programs for tools they use whole others don't.

Key Takeaway: All 5 Clemson colleges (at the time) were using Adobe products.

Why is this important?

"As humanities students, we haven’t had the same opportunities as STEM students with regard to cutting-edge learning technologies. But with access to Adobe Creative Cloud, we’re leveling the playing field."

-Katie Flessas, former Undergraduate Student in the Department of English

"Now, we can tell prospective students that Adobe Creative Cloud comes free as part of the benefit of attending Clemson. This is a real value for all Clemson students."

-Dr. Peter Laurence, Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture

"Everyone expects creativity from people in the arts, but at Clemson University, we recognize that all of us, regardless of discipline, can express ourselves creatively across media."

-Dr. Barbara Speziale, Associate Director for Academics in the Watt Family Innovation Center

"I'm a senior at Clemson, and in my first three years I've had a great educational experience - but I didn't have a good sense of what I would have to offer to potential employers after I graduate. With my experience as a result of the Adobe partnership, I now see what I can offer."

-Maria Poulos, Senior Communications Major

"Learning new Adobe tools was an especially helpful skill for me to have during my time in undergrad, but also in my work after college. I am managing the social media accounts for a luxury lighting business, and I can’t wait to use Adobe post to create some original content. Adding a tangible and proven creative capability to my resume helped me to market myself to potential employers and to land interviews and receive job offers."

-Fiona Sykes, 2016 Communications, Management, and Spanish Major

How can we create the future, rather than allow it to shape us?

Are you helping to build the future...

...or are you just an observer?

What are we doing to ensure that the skills demanded by our knowledge economy are being produced by our institutions?

86.1% of entering freshmen in Fall 2014 cited "to be able to get a better job" as the top reason they are going to college.

-The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2014, CIRP at UCLA

Enabling Meaningful Student, Faculty, and Staff Outcomes

Clemson is creating a pipeline of students armed with training in next-generation tools to equip them to compete in today's knowledge economy.

Clemson recognizes the need for creative thinkers in all disciplines - and Adobe's tools help faculty, staff, and students at all levels of their academic careers to become more effective communicators of their research, teaching, and learning.


Percentage of Clemson Faculty and Staff actively using Creative Cloud


Percentage of Clemson Students actively using Creative Cloud


Faculty, Staff, and Students attending Adobe Creative Cloud training sessions

Clemson's Center of Excellence in Next Generation Computing and Creativity

Clemson's groundbreaking Center of Excellence, led by faculty, is recoupling IT to the university's mission of education, research, and public service.

The Center has three distinct areas, all led by top faculty:

  1. Next Generation Computing, led by Dr. Kuang-Ching Wang, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  2. Next Generation Creativity, co-led by Dr. Jan Holmevik, English and Jonathan Gantt, Clemson Athletics
  3. Geospatial Technologies, co-led by Dr. Stephen Moysey, Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, and Patricia Carbajales-Dale, Computing & Information Technology

The Center is driving innovative, forward-thinking projects and collaborations across campus - including the Adobe Digital Studio, the Cybersecurity Operations Center, and other research, training, and education initiatives.

All In - Clemson Athletics

Clemson Athletics Personnel teaching in academic courses using Adobe Creative Cloud

Clemson Athletics leverages the Adobe Creative Cloud for social media content across multiple platforms.
"When your designers graduate, tell them they have a job with us."

-Email from Director of Digital Content, William Morris Endeavor (prominent global talent & advertising agency)

Collaborative Impact Example: Campus MovieFest

Finale Held in Littlejohn Coliseum

50 total films

200+ participants

500+ attendees

Competition Winners from Clemson

Adobe Creative Jam @ Clemson

Theme: The Future Is Here

7 Clemson teams competed in this timed design contest. Teams given 3 hours to design an animation or graphic around the theme.

Clemson University's Watt Innovation Center

Intersection of Art and Technology

Center Vision: The Watt Family Innovation Center will be a driving force for change that enables Clemson University and its partners to lead in the development of creative solutions to significant technical and social challenges of the 21st Century.

Center Mission: Create an environment where collaborations between students, faculty, and industry leaders generate ideas, solve complex problems with high performance computing networks and virtual global connectivity systems, and develop solutions to take to marketplace.

Clemson's Creative Inquiry Program

Team-based, intensive, discovery-oriented research for undergraduates in all academic disciplines

Clemson Creative Inquiry: 421 Projects | 4,920 students

Moving forward, how do we sustain and leverage this momentum?

Collaboration is the key element that will take us to the next level.

Jim Bottum currently serves as the Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in Next Generation Computing and Creativity , and also as a Research Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University. He is the former Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer for Computing and Information Technology at Clemson, where he led the efforts to build a state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure for education, research, and service. These efforts resulted in Clemson becoming a Top 100 supercomputing site in the world, linking Clemson to the national research infrastructure and bridging academia and IT staff together on innovative initiatives.


Created with images by hnnbz - "Brick laying" • Hans - "telescope by looking view"

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