Following an internal search, Bob Boyd, professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, has been named the university’s first assistant provost for institutional effectiveness, effective Jan. 1, 2023.
An accomplished administrator and researcher in plant ecology, Boyd brings more than 20 years of administrative leadership to the role, including extensive experience supporting COSAM’s assessment, retention and data analysis approaches.
“In addition to his impressive accomplishments as a researcher and scholar, Dr. Boyd is an effective administrator who understands the role that data-driven planning, implementation and assessment play in advancing Auburn’s mission,” said Interim Provost Vini Nathan. “This is an important time for our campus as we bring together key units to collectively focus on institutional quality, planning and improvement.”
As a member of the Provost’s Office leadership team, Boyd will support the development of evidence-based assessment practices and strategic planning efforts designed to enhance the institution’s operations. With an emphasis on developing data-informed strategies, Boyd also will coordinate several enterprise information systems to increase outcomes knowledge and foster continuous improvement.
“I am honored to serve the university in this important capacity and look forward to working with our talented teams to strengthen Auburn’s planning and decision-making approaches,” Boyd said. “In addition to focusing on our institution’s reaffirmation and accreditation efforts, I am excited to lead processes that will ultimately improve our programs and streamline our engagement with Auburn’s stakeholders.”
Boyd’s appointment supports several essential functions of the university, among them the institution’s upcoming accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC, next year. As assistant provost, Boyd will lead the Offices of Academic Insight, Information Technology and Institutional Research and oversee the university’s accreditation, academic program review and data governance processes. Working together, these units support the institution’s primary initiatives related to accreditation, assessment and other data management outcomes.
Boyd joined Auburn in 1988 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Following his promotion to full professor in 2000, Boyd began serving as the undergraduate program officer and was named interim department chair in 2013 before transitioning to associate dean in 2019. As associate dean, Boyd has led many of the college’s data strategies and improvement activities, including initiatives focused on student learning outcome assessment, administrative planning, retention and academic success.
As part of his efforts to enhance the college’s role in advancing assessment and continuous improvement, Boyd has represented COSAM on the university’s Quality Enhancement Program Advisory and Assessment Councils and several other accreditation and program review committees.
A celebrated researcher and instructor, Boyd has received several accolades during his career at Auburn, including the Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Auburn Author Award, the Auburn Alumni Association Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award and the College of Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award. Boyd also held one of the university’s Alumni Professorships from 2017-2021.
Boyd holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from California State Polytechnic University and a doctorate in botany from the University of California, Davis. He is the author or co-author of more than 120 journal articles, edited books and book chapters and was listed among the top 2% of scientists in their fields by PLOS Biology in 2020.