Provost's March Message to the Faculty

Auburn University Interim Provost, Dr. Timothy R. BoosingerAs I walk in to work these days, I am reminded of a remark by one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain, who once said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Although we can't do much about the increasingly warm temperatures and early arrival of pollen this month, it’s great to walk around our beautiful campus and see spring in full bloom and our students outside enjoying this great weather.

Even with spring break, March has been a very busy month. As we enter the home stretch of the semester, we have several campus-wide events I hope you will take the opportunity to participate in. 

After months of preparation, Auburn’s first Research Week is finally here! A full program of events will kick off at 8:00 am on Monday, April 2 at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. Research Week provides an excellent opportunity for faculty and students from our campus and AUM to present and celebrate their research and scholarly activities. Through the speakers, symposiums, forums, presentations, and workshops featured, the week will enable our campus community to experience the impact of research in dynamic and engaging ways.  Although this is a busy time in the semester, to the extent possible, please encourage students with a keen interest in research to attend the events.  For more information, please visit the Research Week website

As I have stated in previous messages to you, a highlight of Research Week will be a visit from Tracy Kidder, author of this year’s Common Book selection, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World. Both as a faculty member and as Interim Provost, I cannot think of a better capstone for our Common Book program than welcoming the book’s author to our campus. I encourage you to join us Monday night as Mr. Kidder discusses his amazing experiences working with Dr. Paul Farmer, and how Farmer’s work came to shape so many of the interdisciplinary themes the book explores. The event will be held in the Auburn Arena at 7:00 Monday, April 2. Tickets are free and are available at the Foy Desk in the Student Center.

Yesterday, I held an open forum on the topic of facilities, specifically the Campus Master Plan. In addition to faculty and staff, I was pleased to see several Landscape Design students attend the forum and share their feedback on topics ranging from classroom quality to transportation and space efficiency. The purpose of the forum was to share some of the results from the campus facilities survey administered earlier this month. I want to thank those of you who participated in the survey. The preliminary results indicate a strong agreement among our faculty, staff, students, and alumni that academic buildings located in the core of campus should be the most important priority of our Campus Master Plan.  The results of the survey will undoubtedly help influence how we determine priorities for future projects and will be shared with the Board of Trustees next month. My office continues to work closely with Dan King, Assistant Vice President for Facilities, and his staff to address many of the academic space needs of our campus.  Participation from the faculty is integral to many of the academic decisions that are made; I encourage all of you to attend these open forums. The topic of our last forum of the academic year will be our SACS reaffirmation. Scheduling details for this forum will be announced soon. 

Finally, this past Sunday the Opelika-Auburn News featured many of Auburn’s recent accomplishments in their annual “Progress” Edition.  In case you missed it, I am happy to share with you the list of our institution’s academic accomplishments we provided for that feature story. Click here.

Again, I hope to see everyone at next week’s events! Thank you for all you do for Auburn University.

Last Updated: March, 2012