A New Year’s message from Dean Betty Lou Whitford

January 14, 2019

Dear Auburn Family,

As we reflect on the recent holiday season, we celebrate the end of another great year of accomplishments, including a major milestone for our university.

In late December, our institution received further affirmation of Auburn’s drive for excellence by being elevated to an “R1” institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. An R1 designation is reserved for doctoral universities with the highest levels of research activity. This achievement is a testament to the outstanding work of our faculty and students and exemplifies our steadfast commitment to inspiring, life-changing research.

As we carry this momentum forward into 2019, I would like to share with you one of our newest and most prominent research programs, the Presidential Awards for Interdisciplinary Research, or PAIR. By fostering new collaborations among our faculty and government and corporate partners, Auburn is demonstrating our real-world impact that I am confident will lead to even more investment in groundbreaking discoveries across our STEM and non-STEM areas.

With the support of our campus and the leadership of our president – who was recently named one of seven new members of the National Science Board – we are advancing our reputation as a go-to university that provides solutions to real-world problems. This R-1 designation further elevates Auburn’s profile as a world-class institution, strengthens the prestige of an Auburn degree, and enhances Auburn’s critical role in making impactful discoveries and improving lives.

Auburn is on the move, and I am grateful for your support and efforts as we strive to inspire, innovate, and transform in our community and beyond.

Happy New Year and War Eagle!


Betty Lou Whitford Signature




Dean and Wayne T. Smith Distinguished Professor