By Anthoney Lewis
Dr. Carl Stockton is celebrating his first year as Chancellor at Auburn University Montgomery (AUM). With 33 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Stockton has always wanted to lead a university and make a difference in the lives of students. Before coming to AUM, Dr. Stockton served as Provost and Senior VP of Academic Affairs of the University of Houston- Clear Lake in Houston, Texas. The opportunity arose to come AUM when his daughter graduated from college.
“The more I found out about AUM the more I liked what I heard” Dr. Stockton said. One thing he found out was that 67% of the student population were first-generation college students. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Stockton understands the importance of getting an education. He was raised by his grandmother who stopped going to school after the eighth grade. She instilled in him to get an education and he was able to receive financial aid to attend college.
Dr. Stockton says that AUM is very student-centered. “The faculty and staff are very passionate about students and their success.” This is what he believes sets AUM apart from other colleges and universities. “We are committed to making Montgomery and the River Region a better place one student at a time, one graduate at a time.”
The Chancellor has had a great experience thus far. All of campus is excited about the new changes taking place and the community has been very welcoming and supportive. The Chancellor’s vision is for AUM to be one of the top ranked comprehensive regional universities in the nation. “The experience has been great; the people have been supportive. Now it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”
Although the first year as Chancellor has been great, there has been some challenges. One is that funding for higher education has been reduced on both state and federal levels. As a result, growing the university is not an easy task. The Chancellor stated that they must try to be more efficient without affecting instruction. Amid these challenges, Dr. Stockton can still find joy in being able to make a difference in the lives of students and their families. He enjoys being able to walk through campus and talk with students.
Since becoming Chancellor, Dr. Stockton has helped with balancing the university’s budget. With a focus on enrollment growth, he has helped to make AUM more affordable by providing scholarships and other incentives. This summer, AUM offered a discount to students to help jump start their college career. This helped increase enrollment about 12%. They also offer the Opportunity Scholarship for new students this Fall. Over 200 students have already accepted the scholarship.
AUM recently connected to the Montgomery Internet Exchange. Dr. Stockton said that he was excited to learn about Montgomery being a connected city. Being a part of the Montgomery Internet Exchange will help save the university several hundred thousand dollars a year with internet capabilities and provide greater bandwidth for students, faculty, and staff.
For this upcoming year, Dr. Stockton plans on building new academic programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He understands that the business community is looking for new skill sets. Dr. Stockton also plans to gain budgetary efficiencies so they can use resources more efficiently and better serve students.
Dr. Carl Stockton holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Health Education from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Elaine have one daughter, Taylor.
All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2017.