Philip N. Clay

Vice President of Student Affairs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Philip N. Clay

Philip N. Clay

Vice President of Student Affairs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Biography

Philip Clay
Dean.

Clay has been a part of the WPI community since 1993. He began his career in student affairs as a graduate student at Binghamton University in New York. As a student there, he became involved in residence life as a hall director, and discovered something he was truly passionate about. Clay always knew he would work in education, but as a hall director he found that “working with students outside the classroom, with everything that goes on in their lives, was very engaging.” After graduating, he continued working with students at Binghamton for 7 more years, and at SUNY Potsdam for another four years.
In 1993, Clay came to WPI, and he immediately became involved in residential student life. Although he had spent most of his life in the state of New York, the change to Massachusetts was a satisfying one. He found that the students at WPI are extremely bright and passionate individuals who are not afraid to let their originality shine. What also drew him here was the tight-knit community and support system that WPI fosters. After a brief tenure in residence life, Clay made his way to the Office of Student Affairs where he currently holds the office of Dean of Students.
The Office of Student Affairs is charged with empowering students to become confident, caring and responsible individuals that grow into great leaders. In his position, Dean Clay focuses more closely on the personal and non-academic issues surrounding student life.
“One of the worst things that can happen is a student who is just stuck because they don’t know where to go or what to do,” Clay remarked. In a typical day, Clay acts as a “triage” officer by assessing student needs on a case-by-case basis and connecting them with the resources that can help them with their problem.
Outside of these day-to-day responsibilities, Clay also works on long term projects that are hoped to brighten the lives of WPI students by improving basic support capacities. One of these long-term projects happens to be an upcoming renovation of Morgan Dining Hall. Through his work on this project, Clay hopes to better serve the dining needs of students by considering changes to the layout of the dining hall and the cuisine available. Other projects include evaluating the need for a new residence hall, and considering long-term housing options for students.
Many of the programs run by the Student Affairs division are a product of student and parent input. When planning these programs, Clay and others in Student Affairs not only look at what types of programs may be pertinent to students, but also consider what student interests are.
Some of the challenges that Clay faces are teaching the students, especially new students, to recognize their vulnerabilities. Many may not realize some of the dangers that college life exposes them to, but there are significant risks outside of academics that can negatively affect a person’s life. In response to this, many of the programs run by the Student Affairs division are designed to educate the students of the potential dangers around them.
One of the personal goals that Dean Clay shared is that he hopes that students can “recognize that everyone struggles. When you are not sharing what is going on in your life, it can feel like you are the only one that is experiencing that.”
All students deal with their own issues and should not feel ashamed to seek help. By nature, WPI students tend to be independent and wary of seeking help, but he hopes that students can come to his office, and know that the staff there will be able to help them get the help that they need.

Overview
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1585

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Massachusetts

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President at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Johnson Controls International PLC

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Owner at First Stop Program Management

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Professor, Provost, Entrepreneurship at Babson College

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Professor & Dean, Foisie Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Professor & Department Head-Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Member, Diversity Advocacy Board at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Beswick Professor of Entrepreneurship, Professor & Director of Collaborative for Entrepre-Foisie Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Executive Vice President & General Manager, Ucaas Business Unit at Mitel Networks Corporation

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Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Flexcon Co., Inc.

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Philip N. Clay
Vice President of Student Affairs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Education
Career History
Vice President of Student Affairs
1993 - Current

Worcester Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1865 to create and convey the latest science and engineering knowledge in ways that are most beneficial to society. WPI's 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Student Affairs
Prior

SUNY at Potsdam is a school in Potsdam.

Student Affairs
Prior

The State University of New York at Binghamton, also known as Binghamton University is a public research university in the U.S. state of New York. The university is one of the four university centers in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Since its establishment in 1946, the University has grown from a small liberal arts college, Harpur College, to a large doctoral-granting institution, presently consisting of six colleges and schools, and is now home to nearly 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university's main campus is located in the Town of Vestal, with a secondary education center located in the nearby downtown Binghamton. Binghamton University is currently ranked 89th among the 262 national universities ranked in the 2013 U.S. News America's Best Colleges and Universities ranking and has been called a "Public Ivy".

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