Auburn's academic achievements depend upon the expertise, engagement, and success of the faculty. Unlike many other universities, Auburn is fortunate to have a faculty made up of full-time professors who hold the terminal degree in their disciplines and who have made deep investments in our academic community.
It is essential that we preserve and enhance faculty vitality. Engaged faculty strengthen our university's reputation and broaden its impact in all areas of our mission. The vitality of our faculty can best be enhanced by building a strong intellectual community that depends on the continually advancing expertise of each faculty member. To enhance that community during the next five years, we will place a key emphasis on attracting, retaining, and developing a diverse faculty committed to increasing Auburn's competitiveness and enhancing our academic reputation.
In our efforts to strengthen, refresh, and diversify our faculty, Auburn will develop the necessary resources to address salary compression issues and offer regionally competitive salaries for faculty. We will continue to enrich opportunities to support faculty at various stages of their work-life, including recruitment, promotion and tenure, rewards and recognition, and provide training for faculty at all stages of their careers. In addition, we will develop the resources necessary to provide stronger professional development opportunities for all faculty, including those on non-tenure track appointments.
Our principal strategic investment in faculty success over the next five years will be to enhance faculty vitality. The university will increase its scholarly productivity and develop significant opportunities for increased collaboration and multidisciplinary activity.
We will identify expectations for the productivity of our faculty in research and creative work, and we will support individual faculty members by taking into account their unique strengths and contributions.
We will apply the yardstick of best practices to our academic work environment for faculty, and we will adopt new policies designed to sustain the health of that working environment.
Jamaica native Alecia Douglas, assistant professor in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program in the College of Human Sciences, now leads the Bahamian Touristscape study abroad program designed to provide students with an awareness of the issues facing small state tourism destinations and their ability to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage in today's dynamic global business environment. Students experience firsthand how tourism impacts people, communities, and nations and assume the role of “creative consumers” in this tourism experience.
4. The university will increase productivity by supporting faculty vitality and ongoing faculty development. We will create an even stronger environment for academic work and will expect that work to flourish in teaching, discovery, application, and public service.
A. Define vitality as it relates to Auburn faculty, construct a faculty vitality framework with appropriate metrics, and link faculty evaluations to this framework.
B. Devise incentives for outstanding faculty accomplishments, including scholarly achievement, innovative teaching, outstanding public engagement, and service to the institution, the public, or the learned professions.
A. Recruit and retain the best faculty to become an institution of first choice for academic work.
B. Strengthen university-wide professional development programs for faculty.
C. Cultivate an exciting intellectual environment by increasing opportunities for greater faculty dialogue and engagement.
D. Enhance faculty diversity.
E. Improve support for non-tenure track faculty.
Dr. Bruce Smith serves as the director of the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer. To improve both human and animal health, the initiative is building on existing strengths in nanotherapeutics, nanomedicine, cancer genetics, gene targeting and the capacity to develop translational models.