|Academics||University Research||University Outreach||Diversity||Institutional Research and Assessment|
I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve as Auburn University’s Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and I want to express my sincere appreciation to you for your support during the past year while I have served as your Interim Provost.
Working alongside you in this capacity has not only strengthened my commitment to shared governance, but has afforded me the opportunity to appreciate the ingenuity, dedication, and passion that so eloquently define the Auburn faculty. Because of your support and engagement during the past year, we have accomplished several priorities and initiated a new dialogue on how we can cultivate faculty success and enhance the culture of our institution. I thank you for your continued trust in my leadership; it motivates me to work harder to support your success.
Let me highlight a few of the impressive strides we have made during the last year:
Despite the unparalleled financial challenges we have faced in recent years, Auburn faculty have maintained the level of quality instruction we have become known for. The average ACT of our incoming freshmen in recent years is a reminder that some of the country’s most academically talented students are being educated and inspired by our remarkable faculty. It’s no coincidence that these exceptional students seek out our academic programs.
In the face of those same challenges, we have continued to develop our academic programs and create new course offerings. As Interim Provost, I have been pleased to take several new degree options, Graduate Certificates, Centers, and Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Programs before the Board of Trustees for approval. At each Board meeting, I remind our Trustees that any items brought forward for their approval are initiated and supported by the faculty. Almost none of the academic innovations approved by the Board during the past year have required any additional resources–a testament to your hard work and resourcefulness.
This summer we successfully completed the second phase of the Faculty Handbook review. With the support of the University Senate, the handbook review incorporates several faculty personnel policies not previously included, and is an excellent demonstration of our institution’s support of shared governance.
Faculty have supported several initiatives designed to enhance our efficiency and improve our processes, including the transition to CourseEval last fall, completion of our departmental P&T guidelines, and the successful creation and implementation of the new Lecturer and Senior Lecturer positions.
I was pleased to learn that we increased our total research awards by 8% during 2011-2012, which indicates we are trending in a positive direction. As we continue increasing our research capacity, we will undoubtedly continue to support the strategic development of interdisciplinary initiatives.
As we move forward, I will be asking the faculty to help define and shape the academic vision for Auburn’s next Strategic Plan. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the 1862 Morrill Act that led to the creation of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. As we renew the Strategic Plan, I look forward to many collaborative discussions on how we can achieve a greater fulfillment of our land-grant mission. I strongly believe that the success of our students is directly related to the success of our faculty. It is therefore essential that we support faculty development in a way that ensures you have the tools necessary to remain leaders in instruction, research, outreach and service. I look forward to future discussions on these topics and more in the coming months.As always, I thank you for all you do to support the success of Auburn University!
Last Updated: June, 2012