Dr. David Clough, professor of chemical and biological engineering, is in his seventh year as the University of Colorado’s Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), as he was named to the position in March 2005.
Dr. Clough, 65, replaced current Chancellor Phil DiStefano, who had served as FAR from June 1, 2000 until just shortly after his appointment as interim chancellor for the Boulder campus in 2005. Clough is only the sixth FAR in CU history, joining a very prestigious list: Walter Franklin (1947-1948), Warren Thompson (1949-1966), William Baughn (1967-1989), James Corbridge (1989-2000) and DiStefano (2000-2005).
Dr. Clough has had a significant impact on engineering education at CU-Boulder and beyond through career-long efforts to enhance the learning of engineering students. He has pioneered active- and cooperative-learning techniques in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and in 1989 he originated the concept of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL). Clough’s research has focused on the automated control of chemical and related processes.
He also has been involved with student-athletes for a long time, as he’s had a relationship with the CU athletic department for over 30 years. For his entire faculty career, Clough has taken a special interest in engineering student-athletes, as early on he gained an appreciation for the combined challenges they face. >He played an integral role in Rhodes Scholarship candidacy of former football player Jim Hansen, an Academic All-American who was awarded the Rhodes in 1993; he is now teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and the two remain best of friends.
Dr. Clough received his bachelor's degree from the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1968 and his master's from CU-Boulder in 1969, both in chemical engineering.He worked as an engineer for E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., from 1969 to 1972 before returning to CU-Boulder to earn his doctorate in 1975. He joined the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering at that time.
From 1986 to 1992 he served as the college's associate dean for academic affairs, playing a role in a number of important initiatives, including the Gemmill Engineering Library, the Herbst Humanities Program, and the ITLL. From 1993 through 1999, he was associate chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and was responsible for significant improvements to the department's undergraduate advising program.
Known for his willingness to experiment with new educational concepts and technology, Dr. Clough has worked to reform traditional lecture classes into an interactive workshop format that greatly enhances the learning of students. Through these efforts, he has helped to reshape the way engineering is taught. The student-run Engineering Excellence Fund chose Dr. Clough as the first recipient of the Sullivan-Carlson Inspiration in Teaching Award in 1998. He has received numerous teaching and advising awards from nominations by his students over the years. He also has been given the college's Hutchinson Teaching Award and Peters Service Award. He received the first Boulder Faculty Assembly Teaching Award in 1980 and the Boulder Campus Outstanding Advisor Award in 1996. His merit as an educator has also been recognized outside CU, as in 1995, the American Society for Engineering Education (Rocky Mountain Section) presented him with its first Outstanding Educator Award.
In April 2000, he received the college’s Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award in the Education category. It recognized his significant impact on engineering education through pioneering the active learning concept for the ITLL, and in leading the college in changing traditional lecture courses to an active learning format.
In his role as Faculty Athletics Representative, Clough represents CU to the Big 12 Conference (and soon to the Pacific 10) and the NCAA. He provides a liaison between Athletics and the faculty and works to enhance the educational experience of our ~350 student-athletes. He is also active on the national scene as a member of the Executive Committee of the 1300-member Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA), and this year is a candidate for President-Elect of FARA. In his time as FAR, Dr. Clough has established a reputation for his expertise in the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program and that program’s statistics that track the progress of student-athletes, the Academic Progress Rate (APR) and the Graduation Success Rate (GSR). He has developed tracking and predictive tools that have been shared with over 100 NCAA institutions.
He and his wife, Sydney, have four grown children, Astrid, William, Rodney and Damon, and four grandchildren. Dr. Clough's father, John W. Clough, was a chemical engineer, and his two brothers are retired engineers. The Clough family established a scholarship endowment in engineering at CU in honor of John Clough, who died in 1994. The family holds a strong belief in giving back to the educational institutions that have benefited its members.