Ivery Clifton, professor emeritus and the first African American to serve at the dean level at the University of Georgia, died on New Year’s Day in Winterville, Georgia. He was 76 years old.
Jere W. Morehead, president of the University of Georgia, stated that “Dr. Clifton provided extraordinary leadership and service in many important roles at the University of Georgia. He will forever be remembered for his valuable contributions.”
Dr. Clifton joined the faculty in the department of agricultural economics in 1976 as an assistant professor. During his 27 years at the university, Dr. Clifton served the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as a professor, department head, and division chair of agricultural economics; interim dean and coordinator; and senior associate dean. When serving as interim dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from 1994 to 1995, he was the first African American in university history to serve in the role of dean.
A Georgia native, Professor Clifton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Tuskegee University in Alabama and then spent six years with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. He was a Vietnam War veteran and retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves after 27 years of service. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois.