“Owing much to the past, Auburn's greater debt is ever to the future.”
- Ralph B. Draughon Auburn University President (1947 – 65)

The statement from Dr. Draughon captures the essence of Auburn University’s five-year strategic plan — to fully embrace the future while keeping true to its traditions. Our new 2019 – 2024 strategic plan plots a bold course for Auburn University that not only leverages our strengths, but also honors our past.

As The Auburn Creed states, the Auburn Family believes “in a spirit that is not afraid.” We are not afraid of change; we will lead it. We are not afraid of the future; we will shape it. In fact, we began our strategic planning process by looking ahead 20 years. Through interviews and listening sessions hosted on-campus and across the country, we asked hundreds of our constituents—students, parents, alumni, donors, faculty, staff, Alabama citizens, legislators, and industry partners—for their vision of Auburn University 20 years from now, and the actions needed to realize that vision. Opinions varied, but everyone agreed that Auburn University has never been stronger, that our best days are ahead of us, and that intrepid action is needed to achieve our vision of greatness.

The components of the strategic plan include a mission, a vision, and goals that are woven together by strategic themes and institutional values. The mission defines our purpose. The vision describes our aspirations for Auburn University 20 years from now. The six goals describe our university’s most important priorities for the next five years that best position Auburn University to attain its vision. The seven themes describe important foundational elements that are integrated in the goals and are essential to Auburn University’s ability to accomplish its mission and achieve its vision. Finally, the university’s values are espoused in The Auburn Creed. These five elements— mission, vision, themes, goals, and values—comprise the framework for Auburn’s new strategic plan.

The strategic plan’s elements are forward-looking, integrated, mutually reinforcing, and written with intentionality. Every word has been carefully and deliberately chosen to make Auburn the best it can be. The strategic plan is an agreement among our constituents and a declaration to make Auburn University a truly great institution of higher education. Through this strategic plan, we hope to make good on that greater debt that Auburn University ever owes to the future.

Last updated: May 31, 2023