Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Timothy Boosinger was appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Auburn University in June. In this position, he oversees the academic programming for 12 colleges and is responsible for fostering the advancement of the university's strategic plan. In total, 25 academic support units and colleges report directly to the provost. These units focus on the instructional, research and outreach missions of the institution, operating under a total budget of $290 million. Boosinger served as interim provost from June 2011-June 2012, and as dean of Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine from 1995-2011. He earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1976 and a Ph.D. in pathology in 1983, both from Purdue University. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004.
1. What is your vision for Auburn University in your role as provost?
My vision for Auburn University is founded on a strong belief in Auburn's role as a land-grant university, which challenges us all to have outstanding programs in instruction, research and outreach. Through the combined efforts of our faculty, staff and students we have a continuing responsibility and opportunity to improve the quality of life in our state, nation and world. In order to build on that foundation, we need to ensure that our students, faculty and staff have the support they need to succeed. In the area of instruction, student success is our highest priority and my office is working on initiatives that will further enhance the quality of education at Auburn for both undergraduate and graduate students. We need to do everything we can to ensure that students that are able and willing to do the work can earn a bachelor's degree in four years. My office is working with the deans on initiatives that will help us achieve that goal.
The scholarly activities of our faculty are critical to our success and we need to provide the resources needed to help them develop creative works appropriate to their discipline. As a comprehensive university, it is important to remember that scholarship includes innovation in all areas of our mission. In research that requires extramural support, the most competitive programs are interdisciplinary. Therefore, we must do all we can to encourage more team-based research.
For us to continue to improve, we must embrace assessment as a process that will guide our strategic thinking and help shape our future goals and aspirations.
2. Describe the challenge of continuing and building upon Auburn's strong academic reputation.
Auburn is known for its quality academic programs and its exceptional campus experience; this combination is one of the key reasons that Auburn students, faculty, staff and alumni love this university so much. The challenge is to resist the easy answers to stressful economic times by trying to become all things to all people. We know what we do best, and we must focus on our strengths and seek efficiencies in areas that will not negatively impact our academic mission. By keeping our emphasis on student learning and helping our faculty develop, we will continue to build our academic reputation. In short, Auburn is successful when our students and faculty are successful.
3. What would you like Auburn graduates to say about their degree when they leave here?
I would want them to continue saying, "I got a great education at Auburn and I'd do it all again at Auburn!"
4. What would you like people to know about Auburn as they're choosing a place to attend college?
First and foremost that Auburn is a special place. I would want people to know that if they come to Auburn, they will get more than a great education. I would want them to know that their minds will be broadened in new and exciting ways, and that they will begin to see the world through the lens of a global citizen. I would want them to know that our students and faculty have a passion for learning, and that all of us have a strong sense of pride in Auburn. I would tell them that Auburn embodies the great traditions of the land-grant mission with a spirit of family that is unsurpassed in colleges and universities.
5. You have been at the university for 29 years. What have you found special here that makes you want to stay?
I knew very early in my career that Auburn is a special place. Belonging to a community that is defined by the values of education, diversity, service, discovery and family; that is the true essence of the Auburn spirit. That is the spirit our graduates embody at the end of their journey, along with the knowledge and confidence that comes with knowing that no matter where you are, you are a part of something much larger. The Auburn family is always with you.