2013-2018 Strategic Plan Auburn University

2013-2018 Strategic Plan

Priority 5: Focus Resources on Institutional Mission and Priorities

A photo of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Harbert that says, 'This is a Commitement to our Future.'


As Auburn continues to address the unprecedented financial challenges that have confronted higher education across Alabama, we will remain committed to our pursuit of excellence across all areas of our mission. Key to our success is the efficient and effective stewardship of our institution's resources, including the careful alignment of funds with identified priorities that advance the university's mission.

While Auburn's mission and strategic goals are focused on teaching and learning, on research and application, and on extension and outreach, none of these can be attained without adequate resources and the determination to put those resources to work for the public good. The university will support a new resource allocation process defined by practical planning, budgeting, assessment, and accountability.

Resource allocation decisions will be guided based on identified strategic priorities, productivity, cost benefit analysis, and a commitment to innovation.

Stewardship of resources must include the university's principal source of revenue, student tuition and fees. For many years, generous state investment in public higher education made it possible for Alabama residents to study at Auburn for a fraction of the true cost of their education. The days of abundant public support probably are gone forever. This means that in the future Alabama residents, like out-of-state students, will pay a larger share of what it costs to provide instruction and career preparation in many disciplines, including expensive subjects like engineering, architecture, and the health sciences.

Auburn has been providing millions of dollars in financial aid to needy and meritorious students from its own unrestricted resources. These are dollars that could be used to heat and cool laboratories, hire instructors, add information resources to the library, or limit tuition increases. Because financial aid must continue to be available if Auburn is to fulfill its role as a land-grant university and because unrestricted dollars also are urgently needed to maintain the institution's fabric and improve its services, Auburn faces a critical need for private gifts to support true scholarships for needy and meritorious students.

A photo of solar panels outside Jordan-Hare stadium.

As part of a pilot project involving Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability, solar power is providing the energy needed to charge 10 electric vehicles in Auburn's stadium parking deck. Twenty-four solar panels are capable of producing 6.6 kilowatts of power per day and feed back into the master power grid as an offset to other energy used on campus.

Strategic Goals

Strategic Goals

8. The university will achieve excellence in organizational stewardship by aligning investments with institutional priorities.

  • A. Invest resources among academic and non-academic units in keeping with strategic priorities. Ensure alignment of resources with strategic objectives for the following areas:
    • Student success
    • Faculty success
    • Research, scholarship, and creative work
    • Outreach and Extension
    • Faculty and staff compensation
    • Capital project funding, both for new facilities and renovation of existing facilities
    • University programs and initiatives
    • Space and land–use management
    • Institutional marketing that targets key areas of the institution
    • Maintain the institution's strong bond rating
    • Other strategic requirements
  • B. Examine all strategic priorities to ensure continuing adequacy of financial and physical resources and consistency with Auburn's mission and strategic plan.
  • C. Develop a comprehensive plan for building continuing education and eLearning programs (including distance education) as sources of net revenue aligned with strategic priorities.
  • D. Identify and redesign major academic, administrative, and business processes to reduce costs while improving service and effectiveness.
Aubie posing inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn University competes in 19 varsity sports in the NCAA within the Southeastern Conference.

Strategic Commitments

Strategic Commitments

A. Maintain institutional access through careful management of enrollment and cost of attendance.

  1. Develop a strategic approach to tuition, scholarships, and enrollment as it relates to net revenue generation.
  2. Seek out donors willing to advance the public good by funding scholarships.
  3. Revise the scholarship awarding process to enable Auburn to increase its competitiveness among prospective high school students.
  4. Implement guidelines to increase the number of graduate assistants funded through extramural grants.

B. Achieve excellence in staff and performance.

  1. Identify and develop the necessary resources to accomplish salary goals for non-faculty employees.
  2. Ensure that the standards used in the hiring and promotion of staff and A&P employees support excellence in all aspects of the university's mission.

C. Elevate the campus environment and facilities to support institutional programs.

  1. Continue to develop campus facilities in accordance with the Campus Master Plan and the Land–Use Management Plan.
  2. Continue to develop and implement economic and environmentally sustainable strategies to reduce institutional energy use.
  3. Reduce the university's energy intensity index (energy use per square foot) by 20 percent by 2020 from the 2006 baseline.

D. Invest in the development of Auburn's workforce.

  1. Improve personnel policies and HR practices for the hiring, retention, professional development, promotion and termination of faculty and staff.
  2. Improve the employee performance review process and better align its timing with salary increases.
  3. Strengthen recognition and reward programs for staff who demonstrate outstanding accomplishments.

E. Enhance marketing and communication to strengthen the university's reputation.

  1. Support a comprehensive branding plan designed to enhance awareness of Auburn's accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.
  2. Strengthen communication initiatives designed to increase the visibility of Auburn's contributions to the state of Alabama and beyond.

F. Increase philanthropic support of Auburn's mission and plan for excellence through the next comprehensive campaign.

  1. Cultivate important funding opportunities during the leadership and public phases of the next Comprehensive Campaign to achieve the goal of $1 billion in gifts and pledges.
  2. Substantially increase alumni participation in philanthropic support of the institution's goals.
  3. Strengthen the culture of student giving.

G. Continue to support competitive athletic programs in keeping with the university's vision, mission, and values.

  1. Auburn Athletics will compete for championships, consistently finishing in the top 10 percent of the annual NACDA Directors' Cup Standings.
  2. The president of Auburn University and Auburn Athletics will maintain institutional control and promote compliance with NCAA and SEC rules and regulations, in particular with regard to major violations.
  3. Auburn Athletics will remain financially independent through sound fiscal management.
  4. Auburn Athletics will complete a strategic operations and facilities plan.

Additional Insight

An artist's rendering of Samford Hall from Toomer's Corner.

The Comprehensive Campus Master Plan was initiated by the Auburn University Board of Trustees in 2002 to provide long-range strategies for growth and transformation of the campus. The latest Master Plan update will be completed in fall 2013 based on the guidance by the Strategic Plan 2013-2018.

Additional Insight2

A graphic that says, 'Moody's Investors Service recently assigned an Aa2 rating to Auburn Univeristy's proposed 2013 General Fee Revenue Bond issue, as well as a rating outlook of stable. At that time, Moody's also affirmed the Aa2 and Aa3 ratings on previously issued bonds.'
A graphic that says, 'Comprehensive Campaign working goal of $1 Billion.'
A graphic that says, 'Auburn University is proactively becoming a more sustainable campus through major initiatives in student transit systems, energy reduction, recycling, pilot projects involving alternative energy and student involvement. Together with Academic Sustainability Programs, the Office of Sustainability recently completed a comprehensive assessment of Auburn's sustainability, using STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System.'
Last updated: 11/18/2016