2013-2018 Strategic Plan Auburn University

2013-2018 Strategic Plan

A line of the Auburn Creed that says, 'I believe in Auburn and love it.'

Vision, Mission and Values

Auburn University is a comprehensive land-grant university with national and international distinction in the areas of instruction, research, and community engagement. In addition to its prestigious programs in traditional science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, Auburn maintains exceptional academic programs in agriculture, humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Often recognized for its pioneering research programs and strong academic reputation, Auburn offers an array of prominent professional programs and houses several nationally recognized multidisciplinary centers and institutes designed to facilitate the discovery of new knowledge.

As Alabama's largest land-grant institution, Auburn University has made key contributions to the state not only through its on-campus programs of instruction and research but also through its statewide outreach, public service, and engagement programs. The university maintains consistent rankings as an institution of excellence and remains an institution of choice among prospective faculty, staff, and students. The development of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan reaffirms the core values articulated in Auburn's official statement of vision and mission, first approved by the Board of Trustees in 1997 and reaffirmed in 2013.


Auburn University will emerge as one of the nation's preeminent comprehensive land-grant universities in the 21st century. Central to all its functions will be the university's historic commitment of service to all Alabamians as the state becomes a part of a global society with all of the challenges and opportunities that brings.

The university will be widely recognized for the quality of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional educational programs, the effectiveness of its research and outreach programs, and the broad access to the university provided through the innovative use of information technology. The university will ensure the quality of its programs through the careful focusing of its resources in areas of institutional strength. One constant will remain unchanged at the university—that intangible quality Auburn men and women call the "Auburn Spirit."

Institutional Values

As made clear in this statement of Vision and Mission, Auburn University aims to provide students with an unparalleled academic experience in the company of a distinguished faculty, many of whom are national and international leaders in their fields of study. Auburn recognizes and values the breadth of knowledge and experience necessary for the engagement, leadership, and success of our faculty, staff, and students. Auburn's core values are consistently demonstrated by our continued efforts to develop new partnerships and collaborations that address the changing needs of the individuals, communities, and industries we serve.

Even as the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan identifies new strategic priorities and goals, Auburn University remains committed to the core institutional values expressed in the Auburn Creed. In the academic realm, those practical values include:

  • a commitment to offering high-quality academic programs;
  • recruiting and retaining first- rate, hard-working faculty, staff and students;
  • providing students with unique professional development opportunities;
  • preparing graduates who expect to excel in their careers;
  • maintaining strong and relevant research programs; and
  • serving as a resource for the citizens of Alabama.

The 2013-2018 Strategic Plan infuses these values into all elements of the organization's strategic priorities, goals, and commitments. As they have in the past, these perpetually relevant values will continue to guide the university's strategic directions over the next five years and unite the components of the plan into an expression of a single cohesive agenda.


Auburn University's mission is defined by its land-grant traditions of service and access. The university will serve the citizens of the state through its instructional, research, and outreach programs and prepare Alabamians to respond successfully to the challenges of a global economy. The university will provide traditional and non-traditional students broad access to the institution's educational resources. In the delivery of educational programs on campus and beyond, the university will draw heavily upon the new instructional and outreach technologies available in the emerging information age.

As a comprehensive university, Auburn University is committed to offering high-quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional education to its students. The university will give highest priority for resource allocation to the future development of those areas that represent the traditional strengths, quality, reputation, and uniqueness of the institution and that continue to effectively respond to the needs of students and other constituents. Consistent with this commitment, the university will emphasize a broad and superior undergraduate education that imparts the knowledge, skills, and values so essential to educated and responsible citizens. At the same time, the university will provide high-quality graduate and professional programs in areas of need and importance to the state and beyond. To accomplish these educational goals, Auburn University will continue to compete nationally to attract a faculty distinguished by its commitment to teaching and by its achievements in research, both pure and applied. The university will strive to attract a faculty that will bring distinction and stature to the undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs offered by the university.

Because research is essential to the mission of a land-grant university, Auburn University will continue development of its research programs. The primary focus of this research will be directed to the solution of problems and the development of knowledge and technology important to the state and nation and to the quality of life of Alabama citizens. The university's research programs will make important contributions to instructional programs through the involvement of graduate and undergraduate students and the renewal of the faculty. Research also will provide the knowledge base for outreach programs.

In carrying out its research mission, the university will emphasize established areas of strength and will focus available resources in those areas of research and doctoral study that are, or have the potential to develop into nationally and internationally recognized centers of excellence.

Extension and outreach programs are fundamental to the land-grant mission because these programs directly affect the lives of all citizens in the state. The university will maintain the strengths of its traditional outreach programs and will increasingly involve the broader university in outreach programs that respond to the changing needs of the society in which we live. The university will continue to seek new and innovative ways to reach out to the people it serves.

Last updated: 11/03/2016