Auburn University’s Allen Furr named Faculty Fellow for Transformational Leadership

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Allen Furr, professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work, has been named Auburn University's first Faculty Fellow for Transformational Leadership by the Office of the Provost following an internal search, effective Aug. 1.

Working with the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, the newly created Faculty Fellow will provide ongoing support to department leaders by enhancing faculty development opportunities and engaging Auburn's academic leaders in a constructive dialogue designed to support best practices relative to the institution's strategic initiatives.

"Among the many roles in higher education, serving as a departmental leader is often among the most challenging because heads and chairs must balance the needs of their individual faculty, students and staff with the collective directions of the institution," said Provost Timothy Boosinger. "By creating a Faculty Fellow, we are providing continuous support and development to both our experienced and new department heads and chairs."

As part of the university's Strategic Plan, the Faculty Success Implementation Committee established the Faculty Fellow position this spring to provide coordinated, long-term support to department heads and chairs. As part of the three-year appointment, Furr will work with the provost's office and the Biggio Center to develop transitional programs for new department leaders, promote opportunities for faculty leadership and success and create comprehensive training programs.

"I am honored to serve as Auburn's first Faculty Fellow for Transformational Leadership," Furr said. "My prior experiences serving as a department chair have provided me with a unique understanding of both the challenges and opportunities departmental leaders encounter. I am eager to work with our heads and chairs to cultivate new opportunities that will strengthen the culture of support for our heads and chairs and, most importantly, Auburn's faculty."

Furr brings more than 10 years of experience as a departmental leader, serving as the chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville prior to coming to Auburn University in 2010. He is currently completing his second term as chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work in the College of Liberal Arts. Furr holds degrees from Texas A&M University, Stephen F. Austin University, Louisiana State University and the University of Louisville.

Additional information on the Faculty Fellow for Transformational Leadership can be found on the provost's website at

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 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.