Message from Dr. Gogue
Message from Dr. Jay Gogue
Dear Auburn Faculty & Staff,
Earlier this week, the University Senate gave me the opportunity to address their regular monthly meeting, held over Zoom. In addition to a few campus updates, I spent the majority of my time discussing how the university has responded to the pandemic and how we envision moving forward. I want to share those thoughts with you as well.
Governing principles during the pandemic
Since moving to remote instruction and an alternate operating model on campus, we have used three core principles as the basis for all our decisions. While we don’t always get everything right, I am a firm believer that when we operate from shared principles, we all move in the same direction.
Although you have heard them previously, I believe they are worth repeating:
- Protect the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff
- Do all we can to continue the mission of the university
- Work in partnership with the university’s governance groups
These shared principles remain the basis for our decision-making throughout the pandemic.
Transition to remote instruction, operations
The university’s transition several weeks ago was nothing less than amazing. Most universities either extended spring break or closed for a week to prepare for remote delivery of instruction and a work-from-home model for most faculty and staff. Auburn, on the other hand, transitioned in a matter of days.
Despite complications that are to be expected from modifying any operation of our size, everyone pulled together to work through them. Students continue progressing academically in more than 5,000 classes delivered remotely. It’s clear that Auburn’s response and commitment to our underlying principles have served as a model for other universities.
Last year, the State of Alabama received its highest revenue in history, and we expected state appropriations for Auburn to reflect this growth accordingly.
Of course, the development of the coronavirus has changed everything. No one knows the ultimate impact the pandemic will have either on the state’s bottom line or Auburn’s appropriations. My point is not to be pessimistic but rather to provide a realistic picture of our financial outlook as it relates to the state of Alabama.
On a more positive note, according to Vice President for Research and Economic Development Jim Weyhenmeyer, external research funding is higher now compared to this time last year. If the trend continues, he expects we will reach or exceed our goal of $200 million in research funding for this fiscal year.
We are encouraged that enrollment for summer is slightly ahead compared to this time last year. As you know, the full summer semester and the first mini-term will be delivered remotely. The Provost will decide in early June about the arrangement for the second mini-term.
Please know how much I appreciate all that you are doing for Auburn. As I have previously said and continue to believe, Auburn will emerge stronger from the season we find ourselves in now. It is my hope that our health experts will offer encouraging news in the coming weeks that will allow us all to return to our beautiful campus to do the jobs we love.