Interim Provost's February Message to the Faculty

Auburn University Interim Provost, Dr. Timothy R. Boosinger

Dear Faculty,

As spring semester moves into full swing, I would like to update you on some current campus initiatives that impact faculty and students.

An important, long-term initiative is to improve retention and graduation rates. With mid-semester this week, please remember the importance of submitting mid-term grades, especially in lower-division classes.  Seeing these grades enables our students to seek appropriate academic support services , while affording them the opportunity to enhance their academic success.

A second ongoing initiative is to enhance Auburn’s research enterprise and deepen its research culture. Toward that end, Auburn’s first Research Week will take place on April 2-5.  This new annual event will highlight some of the noteworthy research and scholarship taking place on campus. Through scheduled exhibits, forums, symposia, and seminars, the campus community can be introduced to the many innovative projects already under way as well as to ideas for new discoveries and applications.  The week will kick-off with a visit from Tracy Kidder, author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, our 2012 Common Book, at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 2, in the Auburn Arena.  I encourage all of you to participate in Research Week and hope you will encourage your students to attend as many of the events as possible.

Teaching and research require facilities. The Central Classroom Facility Program Requirements Committee continues to move forward on plans for this major new instructional space.  Following a series of interviews with several architectural firms, the committee has recommended a firm to be considered for approval at the next Board of Trustees meeting. This firm will be instrumental as we begin to broaden the discussion with our various constituent groups regarding the instructional space and program requirements that will best meet the needs of our faculty and students for many years to come.  This ongoing planning process will undoubtedly include presentations and open forums, beginning with the Provost’s Open Forum, scheduled for today, February 28 at 2:00 p.m. in Langdon Hall Auditorium.  Dan King, Assistant Vice President for Facilities, will lead a discussion on the Facility Management Master Plan and Key Project Updates, including the Central Classroom Facility.  I encourage all of you to attend.

Earlier this month, I held a retreat with the Deans to continue discussing important issues including funding, enrollment, and potential sources of new revenue.  The workshop was successful in identifying the key issues the deans want to address as we begin to frame the conversations for Auburn’s next strategic plan.  At the workshop, the deans developed a recommendation   for a new summer budget model and also discussed the need to  improve faculty salaries while enhancing both our academic and research programs.  All of the deans agreed that to remain a great university, we have to provide our faculty with sufficient resources to ensure success. 

Finally, I hope many of you have attended the open forums for the four candidates for the Dean of Engineering.  If you are unable to attend, the presentations for each candidate are posted on the College of Engineering’s website.  I encourage you to participate in this process by submitting an evaluation for each candidate. 

Again, I thank you for all you do for Auburn University.   

 

Last Updated: February 28, 2012