Provost's November 2012 Message to the Faculty

Auburn University Interim Provost, Dr. Timothy R. BoosingerAs the weekly class schedule transitions into final exams, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on a semester marked by several notable faculty and student achievements.

First, I want to commend our two exceptional students who were finalists for the prestigious Mitchell Scholarship and Rhodes Scholarship.  As Auburn’s first recipient of the Mitchell Scholarship, senior Marian Royston will study in Northern Ireland next year as she pursues a Master’s Degree in leadership for sustainable rural development at Queen’s University in Belfast.  Auburn senior Ashton Richardson was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, which I believe speaks not only to his academic achievements, but also to his personal integrity, leadership, and professionalism.  While the achievements of these two students are certainly shared by the entire university, I strongly believe they also symbolize the hard work, dedication, and collective efforts of our faculty.

This fall, we have seen a significant increase in the demand for tutoring services provided through Academic Support.  As of this week, our Study Partners program has served over 1,900 students this semester, and over 11,000 students have participated in Supplemental Instruction sessions.  The numbers of students seeking these programs have doubled since 2011, and we are accommodating this increase by providing additional peer tutors.  I am pleased when we provide tutoring assistance to students who are working hard to stay on track, and I want to thank those of you who provided your students with early alert grades this semester.  Helping students understand where they stand in a course as early as possible enables them to seek the most appropriate services.  We will continue to discuss the important topic of early alert grades during our open forums and at future Senate meetings.

This semester, the Graduate School successfully initiated a new program to offer off-campus housing opportunities for our graduate students.  By partnering with two private housing complexes, the Graduate School provided several of our domestic and international students with affordable housing options located close to campus.  As we continue our efforts to increase our graduate student population, the ability to offer housing opportunities will enable Auburn to compete with other institutions that provide similar services.  If you have any questions or would like to inquire about potential housing options for your department’s prospective graduate students, please contact Dean George Flowers (flowegt@auburn.edu) in the Graduate School.

Each month, I have provided you with an update on our ongoing strategic planning.  The Strategic Plan Steering Committee continues its work to guide the institution in identifying strategic priorities that will guide Auburn in a direction that fosters success in all of our mission areas.  Towards this end, my office strives to take into consideration the thoughts, interests, and positions of you and your unit.  Your participation in these strategic decisions at the university level is crucial to the success of our next plan, and I look forward to open discussions in the coming months that will allow for a range of viewpoints and suggestions to be included. 

Many of our students remain engaged in our Undergraduate Research programs, presenting their work in professional venues and using their discovery and knowledge to enhance their communities.  As I have stated before, our efforts to engage our students in research and scholarship are just as important as our efforts to impart knowledge to them in the classroom.  As you plan your courses for next semester, I want to encourage you to include spring Research Week (April 2-5, 2013) into your course activities.  Research Week is an important event for our institution, as it enables our faculty and students to showcase their scholarly and creative work.  You will be hearing more about Research Week 2013 in the coming months; an overview of activities is available at www.auburn.edu/researchweek.

I wish you all a productive week during finals and hope to see you at graduation on December 8.  Thank you for all you do!

Last Updated: November 30, 2012