Dr. Neil J. MacKinnon, Augusta University Provost
Dr. Neil J. MacKinnon, Augusta University Provost.

Answers Along the Way: Life’s a Balancing Act

Dr. Neil MacKinnon began his tenure as executive vice president and provost of Augusta University in 2021 after serving as dean of the James W. Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati.

Embrace New Opportunities

“I began my career as a pharmacist and found I really enjoy research and teaching, which led me to academia. I’ve embraced the opportunity to influence health care and education on a larger scale. I have a long history of treating rural and underserved populations, and Augusta University has a very strong commitment to meeting those needs. It’s a special calling and a special mission that I’m privileged to be a part of.”

Strike a Balance

“The triple components of health care — access, cost and quality of care — all are very important. But I like to emphasize a fourth element, which is finding balance in your life. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself, and the best way to do that is to have a healthy career/life balance. I give workshops on the topic and stress the need to address one’s holistic needs, including relationships and values. The plan is always fluid and should be revisited every six months. What you thought might make you happy at age 25 may look very different 20 years down the road.”

Seek Mentors

“I’ve been lucky to have a lot of special mentors throughout my career, and I encourage young people to seek them out. Everyone benefits from honest feedback and varying perspectives. This is particularly important when you reach a crossroads in your life or career. Mentors can help you analyze how a particular decision might affect other parts of your life. Career and life planning are really intertwined, and good mentors can help you make decisions that serve you best holistically.”

Turn and Face the Strange

“I’m originally from Canada, and although I’ve lived in various parts of the United States, I’m new to the South. It’s been fantastic. The people are so warm. Southern hospitality is alive and well. My family and I love it here, and I’m excited to be part of a university that is so vibrant and innovative. It’s a thrill to help build on the accomplishments and accelerate the momentum.”

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