The voice of Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. boomed from behind the podium as he spoke at the annual faculty convocation held on Friday in Claudia Crosby Theater.
He underlined the importance of quality, in terms of academics and day-to-day work.
“We face challenges, many challenges, like we have faced before, but we will do our work with great sensitivity towards the faculty and students,” Hawkins said. “I think what we have to do is hold to the basic principles. Nothing will sustain us like quality.”
Forty-eight new faculty members were welcomed at the event alongside current faculty.
During the program, the Wallace D. Malone Jr. Distinguished Faculty Award was given to Amy Spurlock, professor of the graduate nursing program in the college of health and human services.
Hawkins and last year’s winner, Diane Orlofsky, presented the award to Spurlock, who has been at Troy since 2003. The award included a cash prize of $1,000 and two special mementos, one shaped like a globe, symbolizing it as a global university award.
“I feel very happy and humble,” Spurlock said. “I look back at my time at Troy with a lot of gratitude. I have worked with some wonderful people and students, and I have learned a lot in my role. It’s been very enjoyable. I’m so glad we are all part of a great university.”
At the program Hawkins recalled all the achievements made in the past year by the university. He talked about the new partnership college in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that provides courses in business, psychology, law and communication.
“This will create more international opportunities,” he said.
Hawkins also mentioned that Princeton Review named Troy University as one of the best universities in the Southeast.
Additionally, he said that he was happy to announce that a $1 million grant will be provided to continue support of the student services program.
A raise of 1 percent in salary for faculty and staff who earn more than $30,000 and 2 percent for those who earn below $30,000 was announced as well.
Hawkins mentioned that 38 percent of the grades issued at Troy were A’s whereas the national average of A’s was 43 percent for the 2014-2015 academic year.
“I know we should not be a part of that academy that just gives grades,” Hawkins said. “We want to produce academic leaders. We should make sure that grades are not just given away.”
He encouraged both students and faculty to keep working hard for the upcoming year and to continue upholding the highest standards in all their undertakings.