Warnell faculty, staff and alumni are mourning the death of former dean Michael L. Clutter, 63, on Dec. 24. Clutter served as Warnell’s dean from 2007 to 2015.
Clutter was an authority on the economics of the forestry industry. Before joining Warnell’s faculty in 2001, Clutter held various management positions with Georgia-Pacific and Union Camp. After returning to Athens to teach at Warnell, Clutter was named the Hargreaves Distinguished Professor of Forest Finance and received the school’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching. He moved into the role of the school’s dean in 2007.
“Dean Clutter’s leadership ably guided the school through the recession and difficult budget years,” said the school’s current dean, Dale Greene. “Mike was dedicated to Warnell and its mission, and his death comes too soon. We will remember his devotion to students and his superb mentorship of graduate students in forest business.”
Born in North Carolina but raised in Athens, Clutter graduated from Clarke Central High School in 1977. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in forest resources from Mississippi State University, then returned to Athens for master’s and doctoral degrees from Warnell. His father, Jerome Clutter, served on the school’s faculty for 20 years, until his death in 1983.
Clutter’s continued affiliation with Warnell—as student, professor, dean and the son of a professor—was one of his proudest accomplishments, friends said.
In 2015, Clutter returned to the private sector, where he became an executive with Forest Investment Associates Timber Partners. He remained at the company until 2021, when he was named chief analytics officer at F&W Forestry; he held this position until his death.
Alumni from the forest business program are creating a graduate fellowship fund in Clutter’s honor. Donations may be made to The Michael L. Clutter Fellowship, University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources (attention: Bridget Harden). Donations may also be made to Trout Unlimited.
Visitation for friends and colleagues will take place 5-7 p.m. Jan. 6, at Lord & Stephens West, 1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Watkinsville. A funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Jan. 7 at The Catholic Center at the University of Georgia, 1344 S. Lumpkin St., Athens, with a reception to follow. Internment will take place afterward at Oconee Hill Cemetery.