Mason named Associate Provost and Vice President for Research for Auburn University

John M. Mason
AUBURN – After a national search, Auburn University President Jay Gogue today announced that John M. Mason has been named Associate Provost and Vice President for Research.

Mason, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach in the College of Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, has an extensive background in teaching, research, consultation and administrative leadership, and also serves as the director of the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute and executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center.

“Dr. Mason’s background in teaching, research and service aligns perfectly with Auburn’s dedication to those same areas,” Gogue said. “His expertise in attracting state and federal grants, in research development and in private-public partnerships will be critical as Auburn positions itself through its new strategic plan to expand funded research.”

Mason holds a bachelor’s degree in transportation from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in transportation engineering from Villanova University and a doctorate in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and began his career in consulting engineering practice. He began teaching at the community college level and completed his doctorate while performing research at the Texas Transportation Institute. After returning to private practice as a district transportation manager for a Florida engineering firm, he was recruited by Penn State to return to teaching and research and was named the Director of the Transportation Operations Program at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute. While at Penn State, he became center director, institute director and, in 1997, associate dean of engineering.

“I am very pleased to accept Dr. Gogue’s offer to join Auburn University. This is an excellent opportunity, at the right place, and at the right time,” Mason said. “Not only is this position aligned with my interests and experience, Auburn is poised through its expertise and capabilities to enhance research and scholarly programs to have far-reaching benefits for society. I look forward to actively engaging with the faculty, staff and students at Auburn.”

Ralph Zee, who has served as Acting Associate Provost and Interim Vice President for Research at Auburn since January 2007, also serves as associate dean for research and professor in AU’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and will return full time to those duties.

“I am most appreciative of Dr. Zee’s outstanding work in research and in performing dual roles at Auburn during a transition to a new president and through the initial phases of a new strategic plan,” Gogue said.

During his tenure as associate dean at Penn State, Mason’s responsibilities have included research administration and development, graduate studies, governmental affairs and continuing and distance education programs. Mason also led state and federal grants that included partnerships with multi-state agencies, a consortium of land-grant universities and private sector sponsors. Most recently he coordinated the establishment of a legacy endowment for the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute.

Mason has served in several leadership roles with national organizations including the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, American Society of Civil Engineers, International Institute of Transportation Engineers and is past president of the national Council of University Transportation Centers and incoming chair of the Engineering Research Council of the American Society for Engineering Education.

He is the recipient of several distinguished professional and academic awards, has a record of continuous scholarly publications and is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.

Mason and his wife, Michelle, a science teacher, have one daughter who will be entering graduate school this fall.

Contact: Deedie Dowdle, (334) 844-9999 (