Strategic Plan: About
“As a land-grant institution, Auburn University is dedicated to improving the lives of the people of Alabama, the nation, and the world through forward-thinking education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and selfless service”
Auburn University’s mission concisely describes our central purpose. Our mission statement begins with a reference to the university’s origins and obligations as a public land-grant university. The 1862 Morrill Act created institutions of higher education that focused on agriculture and mechanical arts—a response to changing social and economic conditions. Land-grant universities would provide practical solutions to pressing societal problems and provide higher education to a much broader segment of American citizenry. Land-grant universities would eventually serve as the creators of economic opportunity and development. As such, we must never lose sight of the important educational, research and service responsibilities inherent in our land-grant lineage. Subsequent to its founding as a land-grant university, Auburn has also been designated, through federal legislation, as a sea-grant and space-grant university.
Our first responsibility is to educate our students and prepare them for life. We endeavor to expand their minds, broaden their experiences, and hone their capabilities by imparting both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Our goal is to empower and inspire our students to be their very best and to achieve their hopes and dreams. A key element of our public charter and of the Auburn Creed is to ensure our students are instilled with a strong work ethic, sound character traits, and core values of honesty and respect. We encourage students to make valuable contributions and to lead their fellow citizens in creating meaningful change. This responsibility to build moral character and inculcate active social responsibility distinguishes the student experience at all land-grant universities, and certainly at Auburn University.
Our second responsibility is to drive the development of research and scholarship that creates and advances knowledge. We support, build upon, and leverage the expertise of our faculty, students, and partners to discover, innovate, and create new science, new technologies, and new applications and methodologies that tangibly improve our world.
Our third responsibility, engagement and outreach, leverages the value of the first two elements. Our duty is to enable our students, graduates, faculty and partners to transform the fruits of our research and scholarship into products, methods, and services that meet our communities’ most pressing needs. Delivering real-world, practical solutions is what sets land-grant universities apart and is core to Auburn University’s foundation.
To be among the best land-grant universities, we must continue to excel in all three responsibilities. This requires leveraging the synergy found in the interchange of education, research, and service to maximize our impact on Alabama and the world.
To lead and shape the future of higher education.
Our vision describes the aspiration for Auburn University 20 years in the future. It is deliberately intended to be lofty — realistic and ever challenging while also bold and ambitious. It is a challenge to ourselves to achieve greatness. Our vision is an invitation to the Auburn Family and those who do not yet know Auburn University to join us in our quest to inspire, innovate, and transform.
Auburn University has established itself as an excellent comprehensive, public land-grant university. However, excellence is not enough. We aspire to become a world-renowned institution that excels in education, research, and service—and to become a model of higher education. We understand that higher education is on the precipice of change. We intend to lead and shape that change.
Our goals describe Auburn University’s highest priorities for the next five years. The accomplishment of these goals will best position our institution to achieve its 20-year vision.