Auburn University vice president for research and economic development appointed chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg

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John M. Mason Jr., vice president for research and economic development at Auburn University, has been appointed as chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg and will begin the new role effective Aug. 1.

Mason joined Auburn University Sept. 1, 2008. In his role, he served as the university’s chief research officer and has been a member of the president’s cabinet, having provided leadership for strategic planning for Auburn’s research enterprise and economic development initiatives. He has been a permanent member on the Provost’s Council of Deans, the University Academic Program Review Committee and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.

Mason also served as a president’s appointee to the University Senate and has been the president of the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation. During his tenure at Auburn, Mason has been responsible for economic and research program development, public and private externally sponsored programs, technology transfer, commercialization efforts, the Auburn University Cyber-Initiative and the Auburn University Huntsville Research Center. 

“John has been a valuable asset in Auburn’s commitment to stellar research, instruction and economic development outreach,” said Auburn President Steven Leath.  “We congratulate John on his appointment and wish him continued success as he endeavors the next chapter in his career in what will be a return to a familiar setting.” 

Mason holds his bachelor’s degree in transportation from Penn State Harrisburg, his master’s in transportation engineering from Villanova University and a doctorate in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining Auburn, Mason was the associate dean for graduate studies, research and outreach in the College of Engineering at Penn State University.

“Now, to be coming back as the chancellor of the campus I began at, is very rewarding and I couldn’t be more humbled and thankful for this opportunity,” Mason said.

Upon Mason’s departure, Auburn will promptly begin a national search for a new leader in the role.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.