Auburn University Strategic Plan

Priority 4: Developing Our People
Recognizing that faculty and staff are central to the life of the University, the Auburn University System will redouble its efforts to support, develop and strengthen our people.


Initiative 2: Enhancing faculty professional development

Strategic Priority 38: Faculty Study Opportunities | COMPLETED

Auburn University has provided opportunities to eligible faculty for sabbatical programs.

"Development and implementation of a faculty study policy will encourage further faculty skill development. Very few faculty members have had the opportunity for a study leave, and Auburn is atypical in this respect. Our policy should allow faculty to take one semester every seventh year at full pay or two semesters at half pay. With the large number of faculty who would be eligible based on national standards, interim policies will be developed to address the backlog over time."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • The Provost's Office has provided opportunities to eligible faculty for sabbatical programs; half of the faculty who applied for sabbaticals received awards.

Strategic Priority 39: Faculty Consulting | COMPLETED

Auburn University has established a process for faculty to report on consulting and provided an award for outstanding service to government or industry.

"AU encourages faculty consulting and will annually recognize engaged faculty who are contributing to professional organizations, business and industry, state and federal agencies, etc."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has created a Consulting Report on faculty consulting accomplished during the 2009 calendar year, the sum of consulting hours (from OIRA) is 4,420.25 hours from 91 different consultations.  The median number of hours consulted was nine; the most common length of a consultation was eight hours.
  • The Provost's Office established the External Faculty Consulting Award in 2009, recipient were awarded in 2010 and 2011.

Strategic Priority 40: Teaching Reviews | COMPLETED

AU has enhanced instruction through improved teaching reviews by implementing a peer and student review system to evaluate teaching, and has established a post-tenure review triggered based on annual reviews.

"We are designing improved reviews of teaching, performed by faculty peers as well as students."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • Auburn University has enhanced instruction through improved teaching reviews by implementing a peer and student review system to evaluate teaching.
  • In August 2011, the Provost and the Senate leadership decided to form an Ad Hoc committee to implement the new online teaching evaluation process mandated by the Senate Teaching Effectiveness Committee (TEC). The committee's efforts resulted in the implementation of AU Evaluate. The first semester of implementation resulted in the following:
    • Overall, 69.6% of students completed all of their course evaluations. This is fully 3% higher than the 66% that the committee's research suggested would be a successful implementation. 23,086 students received a total of 87,697emails notifying them of their evaluation period and providing them with links to their courses.
    • These students also received daily reminders until they completed their evaluations or the evaluation period ended. A total of 68,956 evaluations were completed for 3,866 course-sections.
    • These numbers compare very favorably to the 70,984 paper evaluations completed in 3,084 course-sections in Fall 2010.
  • All academic departments have implemented plans for a "peer review system" to evaluate teaching.
  • Auburn University also established a post-tenure review triggered based on annual reviews. A committee of faculty leaders helped revise the University's post-tenure review policies and procedures and recommended a new policy whereby post-tenure review will be triggered by two unsatisfactory faculty annual reviews during any six-year period; the new policy went into effect during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Strategic Priority 41: Faculty Study and Work Abroad | COMPLETED

Auburn University has provided small grants for AU to increase faculty international experiences.

"As part of our study leave program for faculty, we will design a structured, University-wide program that encourages faculty to work and study internationally."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • The Provost's Office has established a process for awarding faculty international travel grants. Faculty grants were awarded in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
  • In 2012 the Office of International Programs established several new grants to encourage faculty to travel abroad and advance the University's efforts to create new international programs and opportunities for students. Faculty use funds to investigate, develop, and finalize details for their proposed programs. 14 Faculty projects were selected to receive a combined total of $65,800 for the development of study abroad, exchange and international collaborative teaching programs. The new grant programs include:
    • Global Partners Program Grants—Provides funds to faculty so they may obtain the professional international experiences needed to strengthen their teaching and research programs and enrich departmental contributions to Auburn University students and constituents in a global society. Recipients can use the funds to travel abroad to investigate, develop and finalize details for their proposed programs. (Up to $5,000 per award)
    • Study Abroad Development Grants—Grants to individual faculty or small groups of faculty from departments to increase student participation in study abroad programs. Funds are allocated to provide international travel expenses to faculty in an effort to support new study abroad programs that support the college/school's internationalization efforts. (Up to $5,000 per award)
    • Student Exchange Development Grants—Allocates funds for individual faculty or small faculty groups representing departments to increase overseas study, internship, or research experiences for Auburn students. The goal of the grant is to support the institution's international initiatives through developing new student exchange programs with international universities. (Up to $5,000 per award)
    • International Collaborative Teaching Grants—Funds individual faculty or small faculty groups representing departments, to create on-campus international experiences for our Auburn students. Funds are used to establish collaborative programming among Auburn University students and students at oversees universities. (Up to $5,000 per award)

Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2013

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