Dear Harbert College family,
When talking to groups, I often open my remarks with “it is my honor and privilege to serve as the Dean of the Harbert College of Business.” For more than 7 years, it has indeed been my honor and privilege to serve as Dean. In my career, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to wear many different hats including technology entrepreneur, professor, and research center director. None has been as fun and rewarding as serving as Dean of the Harbert College.
As many of you may have heard, effective January 1, 2018, I will take on a larger role at Auburn University as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. This is certainly a bittersweet time for me. I am truly and deeply saddened to be stepping away from the Harbert College on a day-to-day basis. However, a consistent driver for me, especially during my academic career, has been “How can I make a difference?” The Provost position will give me an opportunity to help make a difference across campus. As a member of President Leath's team, I am looking forward to advancing Auburn's mission, particularly in the areas of instruction and research.
Thanks to the hard work of our faculty and staff, an amazingly talented group of students, and the incredible support of our alumni, friends, and business community, the Harbert College is doing remarkable things and is poised for future greatness.
The most important thing we can do now and moving forward is to maintain the current momentum. Joe Hanna, who has served as the college's associate dean of researchand outreach since 2011, will assume the role of interim dean on January 1. In 2018, we will launch a national search for a permanent dean. We expect this search to take 6 to 9 months to complete. This is a great job and we will find a great dean to fill it.
Thank you all for a wonderful 7-plus years! If I can be of assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Bill C. Hardgrave
Dean and Wells Fargo Professor
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business