Episode 55 - Developing Meaningful Campus Jobs: The UPIC Program at Clemson University

Neil Burton, executive director of the Clemson University Center for Career and Professional Development joins President Scott Wyatt and Steve Meredith. They discuss the innovative UPIC program which provides hundreds of students each year opportunities to intern on-campus and learn from professionals in their field.

Full Transcript

Steve Meredith: Hi again everyone, and welcome to Solutions to Higher Education, a podcast featuring Scott L Wyatt, the president of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. I’m Steve Meredith, your host, and I’m joined in-studio today, as I usually am, by President Wyatt. Scott, how are you?

Scott Wyatt: Terrific, thanks.

Meredith: We’ve been noticing that the weather is getting increasingly pleasant, and I know that you’re an avid outdoorsman. Do you have any big spring/summer activities coming up?

Wyatt: No, actually, I don’t. We’re still in that massive stretch in so much work until school lets out. But today, thinking about our guest, I’d like to go to South Carolina because I’ll bet it’s warm there.

Meredith: Yeah, I think you’re right. [Both laugh] Certainly warmer than it is here. Well, you mentioned our guest from South Carolina from Clemson University, and why don’t you introduce him?

Wyatt: So, we are so lucky to have with us today Neil Burton, who is the Executive Director of the Clemson Center for Career and Professional Development joining us from Clemson, South Carolina. Welcome, Neil.

Neil Burton: I appreciate you guys having me on the podcast, it’s a pleasure to be with you.

Wyatt: I have been close to Clemson but never at Clemson, but you guys do green the way we do red sand. [All laugh]

Meredith: That’s right.

Burton: We do have a few trees around. For allergy sufferers, that can be a bit of a draw back. [Laughs] I think our pollen count is in the thousands where most other places are in the hundreds, but it does make for a pretty sight.

Wyatt: Yeah, we have a lot of sagebrush, so, that creates some pollen.

Meredith: Yes, it does.

Wyatt: For us too. Well, we’re delighted to visit with you today and love to talk about some of the innovation that you’ve been doing on your campus and in particular this UPIC program. Why don’t you tell us…before we really get into that though, Neil, why don’t you tell us a little bit about Clemson? And then also how you ended up in this job being the Executive Directive of this center?

Burton: Certainly. Clemson University is a land grant university that was started back in the late 1800s. It was initially a military school. It currently has about 24,000 students. It is located in the northwest corner of South Carolina, affectionately referred to as “God’s country” by those of us who live here.

Wyatt: [Laughs]

Burton: It has a very strong engineering program, obviously being a land grant school, a very strong agricultural program, up and coming in business, has a few other really strong programs as well. Routinely falls inThe U.S. News and World Reporttop 25 public universities, that’s something that our administration is…pays attention to. A lovely place to be, I’ve been here for a long time. I started in 1992 in financial aid, figured out that that was not where I wanted to spend my career, and so, after five or six years I moved into the cooperative education office which, if you’re not familiar with that, cooperative education is like internship on steroids. Students that participate in that program do multiple rotations with the company that they work for. In 2011…2010, I guess it was, in the midst of the recession, the provost came to me and said, “You know what? The director of the career center is going to retire and instead of replacing her, we’re just going to throw co-op and the career center together. We’re thinking about letting you run that, but don’t mention it to anybody.” Well, she mentioned that in front of about a dozen other directors and less than 25 hours later I had people all across campus going, “Oh, I hear you’re going to be the new career center director?”

Wyatt: [Laughs]

Burton: That happened in May of 2011 and I’ve been in the role ever since.

Wyatt: Well that’s been a shift for you. From financial aid helping people pay for school to helping people figure out how to pay back their loans. [Laughs]

Burton: I had not seen that connection before, but you’re exactly right. [All laugh]

Wyatt: Successfully completing and learning what you need to learn and then getting out and getting the kind of job that’s helpful.

Burton: Absolutely. I loved my time in experiential education. I think that is one of the best things that a school can offer is those nursing practica, student teaching, internships, co-op assignments, just allowing students to kind of put their knowledge into practice. I liken it to riding a bike. I can get a student a book on how to write a bike and they can get the theory, but until they hop on and start pedaling, they don’t really know how. And that’s what, I think, we do pretty well is helping those young people putting that knowledge into practice.

Wyatt: So, tell us what the UPIC program is?

Burton: So, the same provost that had mentioned that she was going to combine cooperative education and career services pulled me into her office, it was probably just a few months after I had started—and bear in mind, this is the middle of a great recession, not a lot of money for anything in higher education at the time—and she said, “I really want to develop a program where we can allow students to gain some work experience here on campus. Clemson is a lovely campus, but we’re not in the middle of a metropolitan area, so, students would have to miss some class if they wanted to gain any work experience while they were going to class.” And I was like, “That’s a terrific idea. It’s going to give students a chance to kind of peek behind the curtain to see what goes on at the university behind closed doors, it’s going to give them a chance to earn a little bit of money to defray some educational expenses, certainly boost their resume, it’s just a win-win all across the board.” And I was like, “What are you thinking? 20 or 30 students a semester?” And she goes, “No, about 500 a year.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s a horse of a different color there.” [All laugh] And so she said, “Go and figure it out, bring me back a plan and we’ll talk about it.” So, I came back, and I did what any smart person would do when presented with a challenge like that, I found somebody smarter than I was and said, “Here, you figure it out.”

Wyatt: [Laughs]

Burton: And so, I had our internship director draw the framework and we were very…we felt like we were asking for a pretty generous amount to get this program off the ground, brought it back to the provost, and she said, “You’re not asking for enough.” Now, Scott, I’m not sure how often you say that to the folks that work for you.”

Wyatt: [Laughs]

Burton: “You need to ask for more funding.” But in my experience, that was unusual. But, we went back and added some more…we beefed it up, went and presented it to the president’s council and they didn’t give us everything we asked for in the second ask, but they gave us more than we had asked for initially. So, that was in 2011, we had our first cohort go through in the spring of 2012, I think it was less than 20 students, but it was a smash right from the get-go. It was…students loved it, the mentors loved it, the faculty and staff on campus that were working with these students just fell in love with the program. At that point, we were encouraged to develop a really cool name for the program. So, we went to the university marketing department and said, “OK, this is our program, and this is kind of what it does. What do we need to call it?” They came up with a lot of interesting suggestions. The one that they settled on was the University Professional Internship and Coop Program, UPIC, and even the marketing really writes itself. You need a student to work in your department? UPIC. It’s just a genius…

Wyatt: Yeah.

Burton: What these marketing professionals come up with. But that’s kind of how it got started and I’ll shut up now and let you ask another question because I think I’ve rambled long enough.

Wyatt: No, no, it’s…

Meredith: Very interesting.

Wyatt: Yeah. So, you started out with 20 students in the first run of this?

Burton: That’s correct. We…now, bear in mind, this was not just a simple, “Hey, let’s tell faculty that they can hire interns and just kind of let it go in a wild west kind of fashion.” We put together a program so that faculty would not have to deal with the paperwork, with the HR side of things, we had to set up a pay scale, we required faculty who were interested to file applications, really, “This is what the student is going to do if he or she comes out and works for me…” And then we would vet those and say, “That’s not meaty enough. You’re not challenging the students enough” or “It’s not applicable as it needs to be to the career field” or there could be any one of a number of reasons that we would actually send those proposals back and say, “You need to address this.” In…for the simple fact that we wanted the students to have a seminal experience when they went out there, that it was going to meaningful to them, that they were going to be engaged and that it was going to be something that they could really…when opportunities post-Clemson came about that they could really have something really to talk about having achieved during their time here.

Wyatt: Give us some examples of the first jobs?

Burton: What’s that?

Wyatt: What are some examples of the first jobs?

Burton: So, the first jobs, a lot of them were in the computer area. We were washing some students through the system, really to make sure our payroll processes and students were paid on time and that we could hire and terminate them appropriately at the beginning…at the end of the semester. That the paperwork, that the data gathering tools that we had in place were functioning OK. So, really, they were Guinea pigs and a lot of them were in our computer division, our IT division. But, right from the start, we felt like we wanted to ensure that students across the spectrum were going to have opportunities. At that time, Clemson had five colleges and that second year, by the second year, we had 20% of the assignments available in each of those five colleges. Because sometimes it’s easy for an engineering student or an accounting student to find an internship. Those students in maybe philosophy or political science or graphic might not have quite those same opportunities, so we wanted to make sure that we were spreading the wealth. We also had a nice little incentive. When we first launched the program, faculty…if we accepted their proposal, their department had to pay 25% of the student’s pay, we were going to cover the other 75%. And that was to make sure that those departments that didn’t have a lot of resources, especially during that recession, would not be left out, that they would be able to provide some opportunities for students.

Wyatt: How far has it grown?

Burton: So, by 2017, we had 900 students going through the program every year and we have been…that’s kind of, we’ve leveled off here because, frankly, that’s where our funding allows us to do. We have, I want to say we average about 15 applicants for every position, and so it’s really…the limiting factor is budget right now rather than interest level in students or in faculty mentors.

Wyatt: You did say 900 right? I heard that right?

Burton: 900. When we first launched, the original goal was to get to 500 experiences by the year 2020. After we had gone through the program, I think this was in 2013, I was called into a meeting by the interim provost, the interim…let’s see, the interim vice president of student of affairs and then there was the CFO and then our primary lobbyist with the state legislature, and they called me in there and I was like, “What do I need to bring to this meeting?” And the CFO said, “Oh, you just need to show up and we’re just going to have a conversation.” That should have been my first hint that something was afoot.

Wyatt: [Laughs]

Burton: In that meeting, they said, “This program is gaining a lot of fans in the state legislature. They want to give you a million dollars to ramped up the program.” At that point, I think we had 125 students in it. And they said, “The catch is, if we give you this million dollars, you’re going to have to hit your 2020 goal this year, this academic year.” Mind you, that was in October 2013, so, by May of 2014 they wanted 500 kids in the program.

Meredith: Wow.

Burton: After catching my breath and picking my jaw up off the floor, I was like, “Well guys, in order to do this right, I’m going to need some more people” because our concern was that the experiences…we could roll that out to faculty and say, “Hey, send your proposal in and we’ll send you a student and everything will be great.” But we were worried about quality control. We needed to make sure that we were still continuing to go through those proposals to ensure that the students were going to get a good experience. And in order to do that, not only did we need to vet those initially, we had made a commitment to go out and visit every single student in his or her assignment during the regular semester to have that conversation. To say, “What have you learned? What have been the positive aspects of your experience? Where has it fallen short? What changes need to be made in order for you to achieve your goals by the end of the semester?” And so, in order to do that, we needed more people. To their credit, the state of South Carolina provided money. And I said, “Listen guys, if you could give me until the end of the calendar year, not the academic year but give me until December of 2014, I think we can do it.” Then they said, “You can’t count the students that are already in the program.” [All laugh] The 126 that we had in the program, “You can’t count those. So, it has to be 500 on top of those.” So, I’m very proud to say by the fall of 2014, we had 626 exactly in the program. And the legislature was just…they couldn’t believe how successful the program was. They made that million dollars a recurring line item in the state budget, so we get that every year now. And we couldn’t have as many students participating in the program if they didn’t have that commitment. In Clemson, the university chips in a quarter of a million dollars a year and then we generate some fees. Students have to sign up for a course as they go through this. We take some of those course fees, roll it back into the program, so we spend 1.4-1.45 million dollars a year on this program to make sure these students are having these experiences.

Meredith: I was going to ask you about that. So, tell me a little bit about the class, but generally, walk us through what a student does. How does it work exactly?

Burton: OK. Let me start on the mentor side. A faculty or staff member will go onto our website and say, “Yeah, I would like to submit a proposal for a UPIC student.” And there are a list of questions, you know, “What is the student going to be doing?” “Explain how the student is going to be developing as a professional through this experience?” And we also ask them to include what competencies, what professional skills the students are going to develop and explain how…connect the dots for us. Explain how those competencies are going to be developed through the projects that are going to be assigned. That comes into our office, we take all of those that come in, we pick the ones that we’re going to fund—typically in a regular semester it would be about 350-400, during the summer it’s obviously going to be a bit lower than that—and then we put those experiences in our online job posting board. We use Simplicity, you guys might use Handshake or Purple Briefcase but I’m sure your career center has something akin to this, and then students know to apply. We roll it out there, and again, we don’t have any trouble finding enough students to apply. Again, a 15:1 ratio is telling us that we really need to have more assignments, that we’re not struggling finding applicants. And then, we…a student will submit applications to whatever assignments he or she is interested in, the mentor will conduct interviews, make a selection…and we’ll assist the students with resume preparation, mock interviews, whatever help they need, and that process in and of itself is extremely beneficial.

Wyatt: Right.

Burton: Then the student will come to us, we’ll complete the paperwork to get them hired and then they’ll start the next semester with their mentor.

Wyatt: Are they semester-long internships? Or can they go longer than that?

Burton: They are semester by semester, but a mentor can submit a request to continue the experience. Students can do it up to four times…can be in UPIC up to four times. After that point, we feel like they’ve gotten as much benefit as they’re going to, we’re going to try and encourage those students to do a cooperative education assignment or an off-campus internship. This is really…because most of these are part-time, maybe 10-12 hours a week, we’re hoping they’re going to parlay that into an off-campus experience that’s going to be 40 hours a week that’s going to be more full-time.

Wyatt: Does this take a lot of time for the mentor?

Burton: I think initially, yes. When you’re first getting that student acclimated…they don’t know where the restroom is, they don’t know where to have lunch, they don’t know what the expectations are, so you’re going to spend some time early on kind of showing the student the ropes. “This is how we do things here, here are the expectations, here’s how you turn on your computer” or whatever it is the student is expected to do. But if they have the student back for additional rotations, you actually benefit at that point because the student is able to lift part of your workload. They’re working with you as a colleague, as a team member, and they’re really…this is actually one of the benefits that that provost back in the day when she first proposed this said is, “It’s going to help Clemson identify talent. A lot of these students will end up staying around here and coming to work for Clemson full-time.” And that has been the case. So, we have…we at Clemson have identified some talent through this program to replenish our talent pool as well.

Wyatt: Has there been any savings by doing this? Every once in a while I think, “You know, it would be nice to have two or three students…” Well, let me…to put a more fine point on that, when I started as president of Southern Utah University, there was a…I had a staff member that was supporting me and over time, that evolved into three students and they probably cost less than a full-time staff member. Do you have any sense as to whether you’re saving money?

Burton: So, my response to that is we don’t want these students to displace staff. We’re very cognizant of that. This is not…the primary purpose isn’t necessarily to get additional work done, it is to provide an educational benefit to the students. That said, these students really are talented and if we give them an opportunity, they’re really going to blossom. They’re going to add a tremendous amount to the teams that they that they’re working with. It is possible that there are some cost savings, but because we don’t want to promote that, “Hey, these students could displace full-time worker,” that’s not a narrative we really want to be out there. We’ve not calculated that. I will say, though, that our admissions office employs several of these students as ambassadors to go out and visit other schools, to do fairs and events and things like that and that has expanded their reach tremendously. They’re able to visit a lot higher schools now than they were prior to now because these young people can go out there and make these visits and they are so energetic, they’re so engaged with campus and we’ve found that potential students really connect with our current students. So, that’s been a real big win for our admissions department as well.

Wyatt: So, you’re not seeing this displace any faculty members, but do you think that it’s providing a service that allows you to expand without hiring full-time people?

Burton: I think that’s fair to say. And again, because these young people are coming in with preconceived notions about, “Hey, this is how things are supposed to be” they tend to be pretty innovative. So, they’re providing some different ideas, and in preparation for this, I came up with a list of some pretty nifty assignments that our young people are doing. So, yeah, they’re probably saving from the standpoint of the workload of the mentor, but they’re also doing some pretty nifty stuff that maybe these departments wouldn’t have undertaken if they didn’t have some fresh eyes coming in and adding some new thoughts to the kettle. So…one other thing I should mention, I should have included this earlier, one other benefit to the university is retention. I think NESE (25:50) says that one of the biggest predictors of retention to graduation is a one-on-one relationship with a faculty or staff member outside the classroom.

Wyatt: Right, yeah.

Burton: That’s exactly what this is providing. And we have a lot of staff members that might not have a lot of contact with students otherwise, this is a chance for them to engage in the educational process and they love it. So, that’s been a big win as well, engaging staff in the educational mission of the school that might have had trouble seeing their connection otherwise.

Wyatt: Wow, those are two wonderful stories. The idea that faculty members who are doing what might be thought of as menial tasks, disconnected, are now teaching one-on-one and that the students are feeling more connected and they’re getting that benefit, which leads them to want to stay in school.

Burton: Exactly. Something else that I’ve really…again, overall benefits to the university, right from the start, we told the provost, “We’d like to reserve 10% of the funds.” Like I said, we’re now at a 50/50 split. A department will pay 50% and we’ll pay 50%, but there’s some students that we want to pay 100% for. There are going to be those students that maybe they lost a parent and they’re not going to be able to afford to stay at Clemson without some source of income or a student is struggling making connections or something like that. What we’ll do in those cases when we find out about those is we’ll approach a mentor and say, “We’ve got a student that is…this could mean the difference in them staying or leaving the university. If you will mentor this young person and provide them with an experience, we’ll cover all of their pay.” And that has been just a boom to a lot of those students who would otherwise not be here. We’ve actually created a couple of specific programs for first-generation PELL eligible students in the state, we’ve guaranteed them an internship because those students typically come into the college without a professional network. They don’t have one at home, they have to make ends meet with they’re here at Clemson, so they end up waiting tables or doing something like that. If we can provide them with a professional experience where the faculty or staff member can provide them access to not only a terrific work experience but also to their professional network, what a huge boom to that student as he or she starts to look at what life after Clemson looks like. And depending on their mentor’s network and not just the network that they have back home where they’re the first student who’s actually gone to college. And we’re just rolling out a program this August for students on the spectrum. Students who are on the autism spectrum, we’ll guarantee…that enroll in this program, we’re going to guarantee them an internship because they tend to suffer the same kind of challenges that our first-gen students do in that they don’t have that built-in network that’s going to get them not only to college and through college but to that next stage, which is the world of work.

Wyatt: Give us an example or give us a sampling of some of these jobs that you’ve got right now.

Burton: OK.

Wyatt: These internships.

Burton: Right. So, we are an ag school, so, are you familiar with cooperative extension?

Wyatt: Yes, we are.

Burton: So, South Carolina has, I think it’s 46 or 48 counties. Because of budget cuts, Clemson was no longer able to afford to have an agent in every county. Well, what the department has done is recruited students who have lived in these counties to return there as defacto cooperative extension agents. And they’re still mentored by an agent in an adjoining county or something like that, but it has created a university presence in all 46, 48 counties. And they’re working with folks in those counties to do what basically our cooperative extension agents are going. Water conservation, sustainable farming practices, working with 4H programs, so that’s been really neat. So, we’ve got some nursing students that are helping train other students on using 3D headsets and nursing software, a risk management internship where they’re analyzing risk at the university and presenting their findings to the board of trustees which is quite an honor. We’ve got students in broadcast production and one of our graduates is now working for the NFL in this area because of her experience. We’ve got them in dairy, poultry, swine, we’ve got one in Makerspace. Are you guys familiar with Makerspace?

Meredith: No. I’m not anyway.

Wyatt: I’m not either.

Burton: Students have an idea and they want to come and create something. It might be creating a battle bot or who knows what, they just want to make something physically. And so, we’ve got this Makerspace where they students can do that, and we have an assignment there that’s helping these inventors bring their ideas into fruition. So, basically taking it from a thumbnail sketch on a napkin to something that they can actually show for their efforts. Along those same lines, we have students working with our entrepreneurial unit helping entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs develop their business plans, find the funding and launch new businesses. We’ve got students working with alligator and owl populations, tracking patterns, tagging and releasing the animals in their natural habitat. So, you know, we’ve got students out at public schools helping second and third graders write and publish books. So, just a lot of really neat things that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as paid. “There’s a possibility that I could do an internship there?” With 900 students out there doing things, there are a lot of assignments. And then, obviously, there’s assignments that you would figure, working in our CFO’s office, working with construction firms who are building buildings on campus, all those kinds of things. So just a whole laundry list of really neat experiences that run the gambit. So…and it’s really neat because our advisors get to go out there and see some areas of campus that we didn’t even know existed and it’s creating potential partnerships for our office not only with these UPIC students, but also some joint programming, some other areas where we could be collaborative with departments we didn’t even know existed.

Wyatt: You know, as you are talking about this, Neil, each one of those jobs, they sound fascinating. We don’t have a lot of alligator research going on here in Utah.

Meredith: [Laughs] That’s right.

Wyatt: [Laughs]

Meredith: I was wondering how your students in risk management felt about your students in gator tagging. [All laugh]

Burton: Yes, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. [All laugh]

Wyatt: Have you seen some of your jobs, former student jobs, transition into this UPIC program?

Burton: Yes. It’s happened a couple of times. As a matter of fact, it happened in our office. We had a young lady who was working with us as a UPIC student and when the program exploded, she became a full-time hire here and that’s happened in a couple other locations. One of the statistics that we like to share is that students that go through this program are 20% more likely to have a job at graduation than their peers who don’t. Who haven’t gone through the program. It obviously makes a difference.

Wyatt: Yeah.

Meredith: So, they’re more likely to graduate…

Burton: Even if that job is not here at Clemson.

Meredith: They’re more likely to retain, more likely to graduate, and more likely to have a job?

Burton: Correct.

Meredith: That’s pretty impressive.

Burton: Well, for a million and a half dollars, it had better be impressive. [All laugh]

Meredith: Well, that’s right. We have some experience with legislative appropriations that are driving innovation.

Wyatt: Yeah, but they help motivate us, don’t they?

Burton: It is a motivational factor, I will say that. But I will also say that it is extremely rewarding to work with the program. To see students who are terrified of coming into our office because they don’t want us to see how barren their resume is, to see those students a year or two later having blossomed and have such a robust resume and already have leads that their mentors have created for them, making calls to their contacts in the industry, it’s exceptionally rewarding to see that.

Wyatt: Yeah. We’re…we kind of have a similar situation. I think that Clemson is probably a little bit smaller than Cedar City, your university is larger than ours, but to be in a rural place, it creates a real challenge to have internships for students during class time, during class days. How big is Clemson?

Burton: You’re exactly right. I’ve talked to some colleagues at a conference several years ago, I sat in a session, I was super excited to hear about the opportunities they were developing right off campus, well, they were in the middle of Manhattan. [All laugh] The students could literally…they were probably walking by internship opportunities on their way to class. So, for those of us who don’t have access to that, we have to be a little bit more creative. And this has just been a…it has created so many opportunities for students. We’re actually now using some federal work study dollars to extend the number of opportunities that we can provide, and it’s really more in line with the mission of federal work study in that it aligns more with the student’s career interest than some of the previous work study jobs that were taking place where the students were doing work, but it didn’t necessarily fall in line with their field of interest.

Meredith: Right.

Wyatt: How big is Clemson? You’re about 20,000 population, aren’t you?

Burton: 24,000.

Wyatt: 24,000, the community? Yeah, it’s…

Burton: Oh, the community itself is probably 12,000. It would get a little bit bigger if you drew a little circle around some nearby, I won’t call them bedroom communities, but basically they butt right up against the city of Clemson.

Wyatt: Yeah, Cedar City has about 30,000 people.

Burton: Right.

Wyatt: And our student population is half your size. So, this is a very creative way to enrich the university, build on retention initiatives and give students great internship opportunities. What a nice thing to do. It’s got to be rewarding.

Burton: Yeah, and your word was so appropriate. It enriches the university, not just the students, not just the faculty, but the entire institution. It really does make a campus-wide and enterprise-wide difference. Because these students are not just on our Clemson campus, they’re in Charleston and Greenville and other areas where we have satellite campuses. We can still have UPIC students there as well.

Meredith: And so impactful to teaching and learning which, after all, is our business. I’ve long just repeated the mantra when anyone ever asks me, “What is your philosophy about teaching?” I’ll say, “The practical application of learned skills.” And it sounds like a simple thing to do, but so often, as a long time professor, I’m dealing with thoughts and theories and very rarely dealing with the application of those theories or dealing with them less often than I wish I was, and here is an opportunity for your students to put what they’re learning into practice. Hopefully to build the skills necessary for a career in that area, but also just engaging a different part of their mind in the learning process that will make sure that their learning remains in their mind rather than the sort of binge and cram and take a test style of learning that’s so common in theoretical classes.

Burton: I could not have said it better. That is a perfect restatement of our mission, and that is to help the students apply and then make the knowledge their own. Once you’ve utilized the knowledge to accomplish a task, the retention sky rockets. And so, yeah, the retention of knowledge through application, you could not have said it better than you did.

Wyatt: Neil, this has been a very enjoyable conversation. I need to get back out to South Carolina and say hello to you and see how this program is.

Burton: We would welcome you guys to visit. We have folks from all over the country come by to ask about it and we will give it all away. To our way of thinking, we are fellow educators and so, if you need anything, documents, formats, computer systems, whatever you need, we’ll gladly share it. So, we’d love to have you, we’ll take you out to eat some barbeque and show you a good time if you want to come and visit.

Wyatt: OK, the barbeque, you just sold me.

Meredith: That…yep.

Wyatt: I’m sure the barbeque is good in South Carolina.

Meredith: That cinched it. Yeah, that cinched it. [All laugh]

Burton: Yep. We do that, and I will say since we’re a dairy school, our students make their own ice cream and so we’ve got the perfect after dinner entrée as well. So, I’ll promise to fatten you up if you…you’ll need to walk Sassafras Mountain if you come visit.

Wyatt: [Laughs] That’s right.

Meredith: You’ve been listening to Solutions for Higher Education, a podcast featuring Scott L Wyatt, the president of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. We’ve had as our guest today joining us by phone from his office in Clemson, South Carolina, Neil Burton, who is the Executive Director of Clemson’s Center for Career and Professional Development. We thank Neil for joining us, and we thank you, our devoted listeners, for listening to us. Thanks again, we’ll back again soon. Bye bye.