David Virtue, head of the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Teaching, has been named as a 2018-19 Provost Fellow at Auburn University. The appointment is part of the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program. Over the course of the academic year, Virtue will learn more about the work of administrative colleagues on the Auburn campus, and interact with Fellows from the other SEC schools. Virtue will visit the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky, as well.
“The purpose of the program is to help Fellows learn the common challenges of academic administration, and the way different institutions are organized and structured,” Virtue explained. “We’ll learn how different units on our own campus interact, as well as those of other SEC institutions. Obviously, this will also help participants think about our own administrative trajectories.”
Professional development opportunities can be limited at the departmental level, so Virtue is excited about how these experiences can benefit his own colleagues in Curriculum and Teaching.
“Here at Auburn we are experiencing leadership changes at all levels, and re-shaping our own administrative and academic cultures,” he said. “Seeing first-hand how it all works together will be very beneficial to me and my colleagues. Change in such a large organization does not come quickly and cannot be forced. It happens when everyone buys in.”
Beyond the larger university, Virtue believes that becoming a better leader will have a positive impact at the college level.
“Our unit leaders in the College of Education work very well together and we have excellent communication,” he said. “I very much look forward to sharing my experiences with them. I came here from South Carolina, so seeing how two more SEC schools meet their unique challenges and common trends is just a great opportunity. Dean Whitford often talks to us about identifying our priorities and the barriers to those priorities, so learning more about a wide range of issues will be helpful to me personally and to the faculty with whom I work.”
“We have really good people in Curriculum and Teaching,” he said. “We certainly have our individual worldviews but we want to move forward as an academic unit. So many of our faculty members are doing such good and important work, and I want to be in the best possible position to help them in their efforts. I really love it here at Auburn, and am excited about the work we can do as we continue to grow.”