Auburn Board of Trustees creates masters, doctorate programs for nursing at Auburn, Auburn Montgomery

Published: April 07, 2017
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The Auburn University Board of Trustees agreed at its April 7 meeting to create separate Master of Science in Nursing programs at Auburn and Auburn University Montgomery.

Since 2006, both campuses have provided a joint master’s program via distance education. The proposal to create two independent programs is deemed necessary as both campuses now have the faculty, facilities and academic and student support services to support independent programs.

The joint program has grown from 14 graduates in 2010-11 to 49 graduates in 2015-16.

Gregg Newschwander served as dean of both campuses until Jan. 1, 2015, when it was deemed appropriate to have him serve the main campus and search for a separate dean at Auburn Montgomery. Jean Leuner became the new dean of AUM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences in fall 2015. The master’s program has remained the last academic component connecting the two nursing campuses.

Both campuses have a plan for current graduate students wishing to complete the joint program. The independent programs will continue to be offered via distance education.

Additionally, the board agreed to create a Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP, program at each campus. The degree is considered a national solution for the long-standing need for a sufficient number of well-qualified advanced practice clinicians, executives and clinical faculty.

Newschwander and Leuner said there is a great need for DNP advanced practice nurses around the country and specifically in Alabama.

Both DNP programs will be offered via distance education and will initially enroll 12 students, many of whom will likely be graduates of the master’s program.

The proposals to eliminate the joint master’s program, establish separate master’s programs on each campus and establish a doctorate program for each campus will now go to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for review and approval.

In other matters, the following building projects received final approval from the board:

  • Mell Street, West Samford and Thach Avenue traffic and parking improvements: Phase I will modify Mell between Thach and Library Service Drive by creating a concourse for pedestrians and bicyclists, adding seating and gathering space for the Mell Classroom Building, relocating accessible parking lot space for Mary Martin Hall and establishing a permanent welcome kiosk at College Street and West Thach.

  • Jordan-Hare Stadium press box renovation: Renovate 10,800 square feet in the existing press box, converting much of the space to premium seating and new club space, as well as updated coaches’ and television booths for $12 million from Athletics Department funds. Construction is expected to occur from this winter to summer 2018.

  • Poultry research farm unit administration building: Build a one-story, 8,150-square-foot administration building with multipurpose meeting room, conference, business center, pre-function space and support office spaces on Auburn Lakes Road within the Charles C. Miller Jr. Poultry Research and Education Center in North Auburn. The $2.95 million cost will come from gifts and College of Agriculture funds. Construction will begin this summer and be completed spring 2018.

  • Poultry Infectious Disease Biocontainment Research Facility relocation: Relocate current Poultry Science Infectious Disease program from its current location on Woodfield Drive to the North Auburn campus on Auburn Lakes Road. The move is necessary to allow for the performing arts center project. The new building will be a two-story, 5,000-square-foot building for laboratory and support space for $2.7 million. Construction will begin this summer and be finished summer 2018.

  • Fisheries Biodiversity Laboratory relocation: Relocate current facility on Woodfield Drive to make room for the new performing arts center. The university will construct a one-story, 4,550-square-foot building with laboratory and support space at the E. W. Shell Fisheries Center on North College Street for $2.1 million.

  • Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital basement build-out: Renovate 8,630 square feet of vacant interior basement for use by the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory and Biomedical Sciences Research program. The new area will accommodate research labs, meeting rooms and office and support space for $2.3 million. Construction will occur from summer to winter.

  • Airport maintenance hangar: Construct an 11,200-square-foot facility to provide aircraft hangar, parts storage, office and support space required for the maintenance of the instructional aircraft used in the university’s aviation management program. It will be located adjacent to the south ramp at the airport. Construction of the $1.7 million project will begin this summer and be completed spring 2018.

  • Band building: Construct a two-story, 14,600-square-foot building east of Goodwin Hall for band rehearsal, instrument and uniform storage rooms and support space. The $5.5 million project will begin this summer and be completed summer 2018.

  • Leach Science Center addition: Since final project approval was received in June 2016, university officials learned the existing HVAC system needs major repair and a fire sprinkler system needs to be installed. Also the College of Sciences and Mathematics identified three key elements to add to the project to enhance instructional and research capability of the new facility. Additional improvements will increase the budget from $19 million to $24 million. Construction will begin this spring and be completed summer 2018.

The board also approved:

  • A ground lease extension for the Auburn University Alumni Association. The current 50-year lease expires Dec. 17, 2037. The extension would add 30 years and allow the association to make long-term plans for the building.

  • The purchase of land at 109 Toomer Street to serve as parking for faculty and staff.

  • Tuition increases at Auburn and Auburn Montgomery for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. Kelli Shomaker, vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer, proposed increasing tuition by 3 percent on both campuses for both years. The increase means in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students at Auburn for 2017-18 will be $10,968 and out-of-state tuition and fees will be $29,640. In 2018-19, tuition and fees for in-state and out-of-state total $11,276 and $30,524, respectively.

  • At AUM, in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students in 2017-18 will be $9,910 and out-of-state tuition and fees will be $21,310. In 2018-19, tuition and fees for in-state and out-of-state will total $10,180 and $21,910, respectively.

  • The contract for incoming president Dr. Steven Leath.

The board learned of the possibility of temporarily relocating the City of Auburn fire station to a campus location. Because Fire Station 1 on East Magnolia Avenue and North Ross Street will be renovated starting in the fall, it needs a temporary space within one mile of campus, per its agreement with the university. The temporary campus location would be the former Housing Maintenance Facility and adjacent land at West Thach Avenue and Hemlock Drive.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.