Auburn University Strategic Plan

Priority 1: Elevating Academics
The Auburn University System will elevate undergraduate education and enrich the undergraduate experience.


Initiative 1: Increase selectivity in the admissions process.

“Elevating academics requires becoming more selective in admissions to the University. Auburn will increase the value of its degrees, attract strong faculty, improve its position in national rankings, and enhance its reputation by attracting Alabama’s brightest students through careful enrollment management.”

Strategic Priority 1: Enrollment Management | COMPLETED

Auburn University has consistently increased the academic profile of admitted students since 2007.

“While the demand for an Auburn education continues to grow, our capacity for large increases in on-campus student enrollment is approaching its limits. This situation offers Auburn an opportunity to increase the academic quality of its entering freshman class as we remain true to our land-grant heritage.

We will continue to raise the standards for incoming freshmen, as guided by the Board of Trustees, through ongoing enrollment-management activities. The results of our efforts to date are already apparent in the increased levels of academic achievement among our freshman class and applicant pool.

Students applying to the Auburn campus who are not admitted may be offered places in a pilot program taught by Auburn Montgomery faculty on the Auburn or Montgomery campuses.”

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • The mean ACT Composite score among incoming freshmen has increased from 24.9 in 2007 to 27.2 in 2011, exceeding the institution’s initial goal of a mean ACT score for freshmen of 26.5 by 2013.

  • The number of National Merit Scholars has increased from 28 in 2007 to 150 in 2011. In 2010, Auburn University is ranked fifth out of 126 public institutions in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars. The university is third in the Southeastern Conference and 16th overall out of 343 total institutions where these scholars are enrolled.
  • Students applying to the Auburn University campus who are not admitted may be offered places in the AUM Seamless Program, taught by Auburn Montgomery faculty on the Auburn campus.  This program has grown from 58 students in fall 2009 to 77 students in 2010, and doubled to 155 students in fall 2011.
  • Auburn University has raised its profile in U.S. News and World Report, America’s Best Colleges: 2012 Rankings with a Top Public Ranking of 36, compared to a ranking of 38 in 2011 and 39 in 2010. Among land-grant universities, Auburn ranks 19th.

Strategic Priority 2: Honors College| COMPLETED

The Honors College has been strengthened and improved to accommodate Auburn University students.

“The Honors College at Auburn is growing and, as it does so, enriching the intellectual life of the campus and providing exciting new opportunities for our students. We will perform a review of our traditional Honors College model and commit more resources to it with the objective of significantly improving its value to Auburn students. Among the new ideas we will consider are those relating to the pervasive themes of global engagement, sustainability, and service.

Redesigning the organization structure will also be a component of our review. We anticipate elevating the position of the Director of the Honors College to the rank of Dean.  Additional tactical improvements that support our drive toward greater selectivity include attracting outstanding students from in- and out-of-state through more effectively communicating the attributes of AU's outstanding programs and further engaging alumni participation in high-school recognition programs, a step that has been endorsed by the Auburn Alumni Association.”

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • The Honors College has been strengthened and improved to accommodate Auburn students.
  • Enrollment in the Honors College has increased from 475 students in 2007, 550 students in 2008, 675 students in 2009, 1,000 students in 2010, to 950 in 2011.

  • Successful implementation of new honors requirements (Apogee Experience, Special Topics Research Courses, and the Honors Lyceum) are designed to provide students with greater flexibility and encourage them to complete the program, regardless of their major.
  • New Honors course offerings include “Sustainability and Our World” and “Technology and Culture,” in addition to the Human Odyssey sequence.
  • Established a target of 750-800 incoming Honors College students for fall 2012, working toward a goal of approximately 600 by 2016.

Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2013

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