Associate dean for academic affairs
College of Human Sciences
Susan S. Hubbard, a native of Opp, Ala., came to Auburn University in the 80s and never left the Plains. She became heavily involved with the College of Human Sciences as an undergrad and graduate student. Susan earned three degrees between 1987 and 1993 and was hired as a faculty member in the college's Hotel and Restaurant Management program. She has worked her way up in the ranks, now serving as a professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Human Sciences. While a student, Susan met a young man working in sports information for Auburn. In 1987, she married Mike Hubbard. The Hubbards have two sons: Clayte, 15, and Riley, 11.
1. How did you become associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Human Sciences?
My background is in human sciences education and I had the opportunity as both an undergraduate and graduate student to take courses in all three departments in the College of Human Sciences. As a graduate student, I taught in two of the three departments. I originally joined the College of Human Sciences as an assistant professor in the Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRMT) program in 1993 and because of my educational background and work experience in the hospitality industry it was a perfect fit for me. I served as the HRMT program coordinator and had the opportunity to play a major role in the development of the Auburn University Hotel and Restaurant Management educational partnership with the West Paces Hotel Group, LLC. I was promoted to professor in 2006 and in July of that year was selected as the associate dean for academic affairs.
2. What's the most challenging part of that job?
Coordinating a wide range of initiatives on a daily basis including curriculum revisions, student issues, academic advising, student services, classroom needs, student recruitment … just to name a few. No two days are the same, which is actually something I also enjoy about the job. Every 15 minutes you may have a totally different issue to handle. In other words, it's a rare day when you can concentrate on one task for an extended period of time. I enjoy solving issues and problems and my job is rewarding in that regard, even though it sometimes provides for a challenging environment.
3. What's the most important advice you impart to students?
Working with Auburn University students is, without a doubt, the most rewarding part of my job. I enjoy serving as a mentor to students and watching them develop into confident and competent professionals. I aim to be encouraging and supportive of their efforts to develop a well-rounded resume of experiences and educational activities. I advise students to take advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities available to them as Auburn students, such as study abroad experiences, undergraduate research, study tours, internships and involvement in student organizations and leadership activities.
4. Your husband, Mike, is in the Alabama House of Representatives and currently serves as the Speaker of the House. How do you two manage to juggle such demanding jobs, a marriage, the Auburn Network and two boys?
Balancing work and family is not easy. Both family and career, however, are important to me and I strive to find strategies to be successful at both. It is certainly a sacrifice for the family for Mike to serve Alabama as Speaker of the House, although as a family, we support his dedication to public service. Coupled with his role as president of Auburn Network, Inc., Mike is very busy serving the state while also providing for his family through his "regular" work life. Even when Mike is home, his political work doesn't stop. This public service situation allows for numerous "teachable moments" as we strive to raise our children in this unique and challenging environment. Mike and I both juggle demanding jobs, but our goal is to have as much quality time with Clayte and Riley as possible. They bring so much joy to our lives and we work very hard to balance career and family in a positive way.
5. How do you like to spend your free time with Riley and Clayte?
Both of the boys started playing golf at the age of 4 and they are passionate about the sport. Therefore, we spend a lot of time attending golf tournaments. My role is to drive the cart because I have no idea how to play golf! We also enjoy traveling together as a family and we especially enjoy spending time at the beach.