Max Lennon

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A. Max Lennon was President of Clemson University from March 1986 until July 1994.


[edit] Early Years

A native North Carolinian, Archie Max Lennon was born in Columbus County on September 27, 1940, to Denver H. and Mary Kelly Lennon. Lennon attended Mars Hill College, graduating with an associate degree in agriculture in 1960. He received a bachelor of science degree in Animal Science from North Carolina State University in 1962 and proceeded to operate a diversified crop and livestock farm in Evergreen, North Carolina. In 1966, he returned to North Carolina State and focused upon studying swine nutrition, his 1970 dissertation being "Soy Flour as a Protein Source for Early-Weaned Pigs."

Lennon was appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas Tech in 1970. Two years later, he left Tech and went to work for Central Soya Company on research for swine feeds but returned to Texas Tech in 1974 as Professor and Chair of the Department of Animal Science. In 1980, he accepted the position of Chair of the Animal Husbandry Department at the University of Missouri and then within six months was promoted to dean of the college and Director of the agricultural experiment stations. Three years later, Lennon moved to The Ohio State University as Vice President of Agricultural Administration and Executive Dean for Agriculture, Home Economics, and Natural Resources. In early 1986 Lennon accepted the presidency of Clemson University and began work on March 1, 1986.

[edit] Presidency

The years of the Lennon Presidency at Clemson were marked by successful efforts to increase private giving and funding for directed research. A number of research initiatives such as The Institute for Wildlife Ecology and Toxicology were established and a major building program for University facilities such as the Madren Conference and Continuing Education Center proceeded. University-wide long range planning was undertaken as well as the implementation of total quality management (TQM). The student body grew to over 16,000 by 1989 at a time when the University suffered a decline in state support as a percentage of its budget. The athletic program witnessed the resignation of two football coaches during Lennon's administration and was the subject of public concern. As the state's formula funding for Clemson reached an all time low, programs throughout the University suffered serious cutbacks.

[edit] Dismissal of Danny Ford

On January 9, 1990, Clemson revealed it was under NCAA investigation: "The Clemson University football program is being accused by the National Collegiate Athletic Association of more than a dozen illegal recruiting contacts and of giving players up to $150 in cash from 1984 to 1988, an NCAA report released today said. / In the most damaging recruiting allegation, the NCAA says that from November 1984 to September 1987, six coaches made 11 illegal recruiting contacts, which included meeting with four high school juniors and one sophomore. The NCAA does not allow college coaches to recruit players in person until after the players are no longer juniors."

A January 19, 1990 New York Times article indicated that "Danny Ford, armed with a $1 million settlement from Clemson, resigned under pressure today, ending an 11-year coaching tenure that attracted national prominence and a National Collegiate Athletic Association inquiry. / "I deny any wrongdoing on my part," Ford said today. "And I am confident that an impartial review of the facts will so prove." / "We have honest differences of opinion on certain basic aspects of the football program," Robinson said. "A separation under any terms would be difficult. An amicable parting is certainly less painful for all involved. That is why we felt it was in the university's best interests to agree to a fair settlement under the terms of Ford's contract and bring the matter to a close."

According to Danny Ford himself, Athletic Director Bobby Robinson was not even in the room when he was let go--it was between him and President Max Lennon. The NCAA investigation was a cover and an excuse for Lennon to remove him, and a plausible one after SMU had just been demolished by the Death Penalty.

[edit] Resignation

Max Lennon was forced to resign in the February of 1994, when the faculty finally became fed up with his policy of hiring more and more administrators and giving them much bigger raises than faculty members were getting. It was the Faculty Senate President who persuaded the Senate to call for a resolution of no confidence, then upped the ante by telling President Lennon that they would call a general faculty meeting to consider the no-confidence resolution if Lennon did not resign. Faced with a potential vote by all faculty regarding his leadership, Max Lennon resigned on February 26, 1994, and left Clemson during July of 1994.

[edit] After Clemson

Dr. Lennon was President and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Foods Inc., which was engaged in the business of manufacturing and distributing food products from August 1994 until March 1996. He served as President of Mars Hill College from 1996 until 2002. Currently Dr. Lennon is President of Education and Research Services (ERS) a nonprofit economic development organization. He also serves as a director of Delta Woodside.

This is the Clemson Wiki project's 1,633rd article.

Preceded by: Walter Thompson Cox Presidents of Clemson Succeeded by: Phillip Hunter Prince
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