Auburn Board of Trustees establishes first doctoral degree in building construction in state

Article body

Auburn University is the first institution in Alabama to offer a doctoral degree program in building construction.

The Auburn Board of Trustees at its June 7 meeting established the new degree program in the McWhorter School of Building Science in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction.

The proposed degree option addresses the demand from domestic and international students for a terminal degree program. It also creates opportunities with funding agencies that require a doctoral program for large research grants, as well as increases the school’s ability to recruit faculty who have the potential to bring increases in research output, industry engagement and leadership.

CADC Dean Vini Nathan said there are only seven such programs across the country.

The degree will be suited for students and professionals interested in advancing their knowledge and skills in the areas of high-performance buildings, n-D modeling and simulation of building construction processes, sustainable construction, integrated project delivery, facilities maintenance and management and innovative construction education.

The new program addresses a need in Alabama by supporting the growth and advancement of the construction industry in the state, as well as for preparing professionals for careers in academia.

In other matters, the board also decided to:

  • Hire CMH Architects Inc. of Birmingham as the architect for the Ag Heritage Park ALFA Pavilion renovation project.

  • Modify the lease agreement with Delta Sigma Phi, 891 Lem Morrison Drive, to increase the mortgage cap to $1.15 million, allowing the fraternity to finance renovations to the home.

  • Extend the lease agreement with Caterpillar Forest Products Inc. at the university’s Forest Product Training Center for an additional six years.

  • Appoint Trustee Mike DeMaioribus to the Trustee Selection Committee, effective immediately through the June 2020 meeting.

  • Elect Trustee Wayne Smith president pro tempore for 2019-20.

  • Commend June Henton, who is retiring after more than 30 years as dean of the College of Human Sciences. She will be succeeded by Susan Hubbard, the college’s associate dean of academic affairs, effective July 1.

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.