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Timothy Boosinger:

Last week The Wall Street Journal published an article critical of the enrollment of
student-athletes in one of Auburn's bachelor's degree programs. The original article
blended a few facts with a good deal of misunderstanding, and follow-up stories in other
media outlets only increased the level of exaggeration and innuendo, unfairly calling into
question Auburn's academic integrity.
As your Provost, I have closely examined the facts of this matter and have found no basis
for a claim of impropriety. A program review team recommended that an over-committed
department reduce its offerings and convert an undergraduate major into a minor. The
faculty committees charged with approving and advising me on curricular actions
accepted the department's proposal, however, it was implicit that additional funding
would be needed. I identified resources to make it unnecessary to close a viable and longestablished undergraduate program. I did this within my scope of authority and budget as
Auburn's chief academic officer. None of those resources came from Athletics. That is a
boring story, I fear, but it is the truth.
As a faculty member, I am disappointed that anyone would question the reputation of any
of our academic programs on the basis of so little evidence, particularly one that does
excellent work and produces successful graduates. In addition to a group of committed
faculty, the program i s fortunate to have dedicated, hard-working students who strive for
success. The program is further supported by an impressive group of alumni many of
whom have served and continue to serve Alabama's citizens as civic leaders, community
planners, and public officials. the faculty, students, and alumni of this program are
contributing to the public good, and I am proud of the work they and all of you do to
support the success of our institution: Moving forward, we will continue our efforts to
maintain and enhance a strong academic community one that is measured by its ability
to advance the success of out students and the achievements of our faculty.
Kathleen Hale:
Public administration is about public service, and about how we implement political
decisions to address the problems that face us in our communities, across our country,
and around the world. These are important challenges and many students at Auburn want
to be involved in making a difference. Public administration requires not only a servant
heart and committed mindset, but also specific technical skills that help foster a sense of
civic agency that is, the ability to engage in a community or around an issue in a
professional and effective manner.
Here at Auburn, we have nationally and internationally recognized faculty in public
administration and public policy. Our mission is to teach students how to do the work we

love, and how to be true civic agents. Together, we are responsible for the curriculum and
courses, and for the experiences that students have as Public Administration majors. Now
equipped with new resources, we have exciting changes planned for the undergraduate
and graduate programs that will add new skills and prepare students to meet emerging
public service challenges.
It is important to note that the issue about discontinuing the Public Administration major
was never about quality, but was about resources and the lack of enough faculty to
support a major. Any narrative that suggests that the Public Administration program is of
low quality is inaccurate and mean-spirited, and is also fundamentally unfair to our
students and alumni.
I am tremendously proud of our students. They work hard, and work hard with faculty to
develop the skills they need to understand complex problems and the complicated
situations that face us all out there in the real world. I am also tremendously proud of
my colleagues who teach in the Public Administration program for their perseverance and
dedication in the face of scarce resources and a changing public service environment. We
are all here at Auburn to do good work and together we will continue to do that.
Mike Clardy on behalf of Jay Gogue:
As you may know, Dr. Gogue wasn't involved in the decision-making process related to
Public Administration. Provost Tim Boosinger, as Auburn's chief academic officer, made
the decision to maintain the program based on a recommendation from the dean of the
College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Joe Aistrup. Dr. Aistrup is a political science scholar and saw
value in the program for students. Last year, he and Dr. Boosinger directed resources to
strengthen and improve the program, and those efforts have proven effective.
Finally, it's important to note that Auburn Athletics has and continues to serve as a
partner to the university's academic mission. Among other things, Auburn Athletics has
endowed professorships, contributed to the marching band's capital campaign and
financially supports the veterans Yellow Ribbon program.
David Aistrup:
Saving the public administration degree was the very first recommendation that I made to
the provost, one that I made before I arrived at AU from Kansas State.
To be clear, there were three factors that influenced my request to the provost to save the
public administration bachelor degree program.
First, I have a public administration background and believe strongly in the academic
viability of this undergraduate major. Second, the academic program review documents
indicated that political science wanted to eliminate this degree because the department
did not have the faculty resources to continue to support the major. This seemed like a
problem that could be resolve with money from the Provosts Office. Finally, public

administration, with over 100 pre-professional majors, had more majors than five other
departments in the college. I felt it was important to keep a major open that was serving
this many students. I am concerned with CLA losing majors. Dropping a degree with
100 majors would only add to this problem.
Note, the academic program review documents, on which I relied to make my
recommendation, did not mention student athletes being in the program. Thus, I did not
request that the program be saved because student athletes were enrolled. Nor did any of
these documents suggest that the program should be discontinued due to academic
fraud. This would be a strong academic reason to close any program, including this one.
The day after I arrived at Auburn, I went to my first football game. As I scanned the
program, I noted that a number of our football players were enrolled as public
administration majors. This is not a violation of any rule or a sign of academic
fraud. Simply put, there are no NCAA rules limiting the number of players that can share
a major. Later in September, I had a meeting with the new chair of political science and
the program director of public administration. At that meeting, I asked if hiring a lecturer
in political science would provide them with the necessary resources to continue to
support public administration. They indicated it would, and thus they supported
continuing the public administration program too.
Please note, that I made my recommendation independent of any contact that may have
occurred between the Athletic Department and any other administrator at Auburn.