AU REPORT |
Auburn to greet new year at Toomer's Corner
AU to shut down computers for Y2K
Classrooms add instructional technology
Buffets set for faculty/staff Dec. 13-15
Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 13-15, AU Dining (Sodexho Marriott Services) will host faculty/staff appreciation buffets at the War Eagle Cafeteria. This event is a collaborative effort between AU Dining (Sodexho Marriott Services) and the United Way of Lee County. Traditional holiday foods will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Each meal will include entrees, vegetables, rolls, beverage and dessert for $5. A portion of each day's proceeds will be donated to the United Way of Lee County via the Campus United Way Campaign.
Toomer's Corner, quiet in early December, will be rocking on New Year's
Eve as thousands converge on the historic site to welcome
the new millennium. Auburn to greet new century at Toomer's Corner
Auburn to greet new century at Toomer's Corner
New York's Times Square won't have anything on Auburn's Toomer's Corner this New Year's Eve. Organizers of Auburn's New Year's Eve celebration anticipate thousands of celebrants to ring in the new millennium with bands, fireworks and other entertainment at Toomer's Corner on Dec. 31 Jan. 1.
Toomers 2000 will have four stages featuring different musical groups. Bands scheduled to appear include Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces, Kidd Blue, Muse and The Auburn Knights. The music will begin at 7 p.m. and will continue until 1 a.m. Local restaurants will be serving food and beverages throughout the evening and there will be face painting, unicyclists and magicians to provide entertainment for children.
"At midnight, the ball will drop in the middle of Toomer's Corner and, of course, we'll have a huge fireworks display," said Dawn Knuteson of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. "It should be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of a once-in-a-lifetime event."
The millennia ball that will drop at Toomer's Corner was designed from an array of concepts developed by AU students. "The Industrial Design department gave the Chamber of Commerce a broad range of ideas that students developed," said Clark Lundell, head of AU's Industrial Design Department. "The students came up with six concepts and presented them to the Chamber of Commerce. They chose one element of each concept to incorporate into the ball's final design."
Participants in the festivities will be able to celebrate Toomers 2000 with a celebration kit that includes a Toomers 2000 T-shirt or sweat shirt, special Toomer's 2000 toilet paper rolls, commemorative poppers and more. Sponsors of the event include the City of Auburn, Opelika Auburn News, Atria, Auburn Bank, Eagle Bank, Regions Bank, Compass Bank and Equitable.
Parking deck to be cleared for New Year's fireworks
Don't park or walk near the fireworks brightening and booming the New Year into Auburn on Jan. 1. That's the word from Pyrotecnico, the Pennsylvania-based fireworks contractor for the City of Auburn.
Pyrotecnico will set off a seven-minute barrage of fireworks from the parking deck beside Draughon Library just after midnight Jan. 1, 2000, for the 25,000-30,000 celebrants expected for Toomers 2000 in downtown Auburn.
After a Nov. 27 test firing from the parking deck, Pyrotecnico determined that pedestrians and vehicles must be outside a 420-foot radius of the launch site to avoid injury or damage from burning fireworks debris. AU and city police will close several parking areas and block streets to prevent problems, says Jim Ferguson, vice president for administrative services.
The parking lot on the north side of Comer Hall (facing the parking deck), all levels of the parking deck and the row of AU Hotel and Dixon Conference Center parking spaces adjacent to South College Street must be cleared by 6 a.m. on Dec. 31.
At 3 p.m. on Dec. 31, university and city police will block Roosevelt Drive between South College Street and Mell Street, Mell Street from Roosevelt Drive to Thach Avenue, and South College Street from Roosevelt Drive to the downtown celebration area.
AU to shut down computers on New Year's Eve
Administrators of AU's computing operations say they are confident Auburn is ready for the onset of the year 2000, bug or no bug. However, they are taking no chances.
The university's central computers will be shut down between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Dec. 31 and restarted between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Jan. 1. Computers to be shut down include the mainframe, mallard and other centrally located servers.
In addition, President William Muse has issued a printed message asking all AU faculty, staff and students to turn off and unplug their personal computers and other electronic equipment before they leave for the holidays. Phone lines, however, should remain connected.
Also, managers of AU's Y2K response efforts are advising computer users, before departing campus, to back up computer files and photocopy documents they will need to resume normal business operations in January. Although the risk of Y2K damage has been greatly reduced, the extra precautions are still a prudent way to avoid problems, say Y2K response managers Jim Stone and Syd Spain.
"We are essentially complete with Y2K remediation," said Stone, who is executive director of Telecommunications, ETV and University Computing. "We have done practically everything we can do up to this point, but we will continue to prepare on up until the big night."
Over the past year, the university has been preparing on two fronts for Jan. 1, when, according to the most dire predictions, non-Y2K-compliant computers and computer chips could set off a chain reaction of crashing computers. Or, according to other predictions, nothing out of the ordinary will happen.
While Telecom, ETV and DUC personnel under Stone have been making sure AU's electronic equipment is Y2K compliant -- that is, able to read the 00 in the equipment's internal calendar as 2000 instead of 1900 -- response teams coordinated by Spain have prepared contingency plans in case external events cause a loss of utilities.
In the unlikely event of a worst case scenario, Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum would serve as a community shelter.
Stone said he has been assured by officials from the Southern Company that the company's electrical grids are Y2K compliant, but the potential for power surges entering from outside the system cannot be totally eliminated. The university's central computers will be shut down to eliminate the danger of damage from an externally generated power surge around midnight, he said.
Richard Burnett, director of technical support for University Computing, said he and Stone will be among approximately a dozen telecommunications and computing personnel who will welcome the new year from Parker Hall. "We will have a full complement on hand and others on standby to come in if necessary."
The mainframe computer has already been to the year 2000 and back. DUC specialists confirmed the computer's Y2K capability by rolling the computer's internal calendar forward and back without experiencing problems.
"We essentially feel that we are ready, but we will be here for the changeover just in case," said Burnett.
To find out if systems are working properly after noon on Jan. 1, check
status web site or the alternate site or call
AU to award 1,017 diplomas at Saturday graduation
Auburn will award 1,017 academic degrees at its fall quarter commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
Of the degrees AU will award, 849 are bachelor's, 168 are master's degrees, 59 are doctorates and one is a specialist's degree. Of undergraduate degrees, the College of Business will award the most with 248, followed by the College of Liberal Arts with 189 and the College of Education with 109.
Other schools and colleges and the number of undergraduate degrees they will award are the College of Engineering, 88; College of Human Sciences, 76; College of Agriculture, 47; the college of Science and Mathematics and Agriculture, 41 each; School of Architecture, Design and Construction, 32; School of Pharmacy, 17; and School of Forestry with eight.
Since its founding in 1856, AU has awarded more than 200,000 academic degrees.
Two receive International Quality of Life Awards
Sears, Roebuck & Co. Chairman Arthur C. Martinez and Columbus, Ga., humanitarian Elena Diaz-Verson Amos are recipients of the AU College of Human Sciences' sixth annual International Quality of Life Awards.
Martinez received the International Quality of Life Award and Amos was given a Lifetime Achievement Award during a program at the United Nations in New York.
Martinez, chairman and chief executive officer of the 113-year-old retail company, was honored for his strong commitment to continuing the retailer's legacy of support for women and families, diversity and volunteerism.
Amos' award pays special tribute to her life's work in higher education and human rights causes.
The International Quality of Life Award was established in 1994 by the College of Human Sciences to honor those who make significant contributions to the wellbeing of others both professionally and personally. The college's dean, June Henton, said both honorees are noteworthy for their service to humanity as well as their personal achievements.
Martinez, who became chairman and CEO of Sears in 1995, says he is continually inspired by Sears' key target customers -- women with families.
Before going to Sears, Martinez was vice chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, a member of that company's board of directors and senior vice president and group chief executive for the retail division of BATUS, Inc. At Searsmilies through a network of more than 850 department stores, 2,100 specialty stores and several e-commerce businesses.
A native of Cuba, Amos came to the U.S. in 1944 as an exchange student and met and married John B. Amos in 1945. The couple moved to Columbus 10 years later and he founded American Family Corporation, now American Family and Life Assurance Company, the world's largest underwriter of guaranteed renewable specialty insurance.
Until the death of John Amos in 1990, Mrs. Amos and her husband supported many philanthropic projects, in their church and in schools.
Her involvement as a philanthropist and a champion for humanitarian
causes is extensive. She is a former director of the Cuban American
Foundation in Miami and of the Valladares Foundation Working for Human
Rights and Rights of Political Prisoners and in 1990, she became the
Intercultural Ambassador, Human Relations Committee, for the state of
Georgia. Mrs. Amos is an adviser to the Board of Governors for the
National Women's Economic Alliance.
Classrooms upgraded with latest in instructional technology
More than two dozen classrooms and laboratories at Auburn are being upgraded this year as part of a universitywide program to greet the new millennium with 21st century technology.
Improvements range from a new high-tech foreign languages lab to a planned computer laboratory for genetics instruction. State-of-the-art technology is also being introduced in areas as diverse as a history classroom in Thach Hall and a computer lab for geology and geography instruction.
Although many of the classroom and technology improvements are tied to Auburn's conversion to a semester academic calendar, the improvements also serve a much larger purpose, said Christine Curtis, associate vice president for research and coordinator of semester transition.
"Technology is a vital part of today's learning environment," said Curtis. "In order to remain competitive as an educational institution, we want to provide the best learning environment for our students. That includes providing state-of-the-art instructional technology and making the classroom more conducive to learning."
Technology improvements rely heavily on the latest in computers and communication. For instance, the new foreign languages lab in Haley Center includes computers with digital audio capability and Internet access to foreign web sites. Elsewhere across campus, classrooms are being updated with computer enhanced projection equipment and computer programs specific to subject area being taught.
Some academic areas, such as the College of Education, are adding technology that serves a dual purpose. In addition to learning with the new technology, students are learning to use it for teaching others. Curtis noted that many of the students using the five classrooms renovated with new instructional technology in the College of Education will use or introduce similar technology in their first teaching assignments.
Not all the improvements involve instructional technology. Curtis noted that classrooms are being redesigned to remove visual obstructions, replace chalkboards with more readable surfaces, provide larger desktops for writing and personal computers and upgrade heating and cooling systems.
"One of our goals has been to remove obstacles to learning," she said. "Students should be able to see and hear the professor and the materials being presented, they should have a suitable writing surface and they should be comfortable in the classroom."
The pending conversion of Auburn's academic calendar to semesters next August provided an impetus and timetable for many of the changes. Curtis said most of the classroom and lab renovations should be complete by the time fall semester classes start.
Shortly after planning began two years ago for conversion to semesters, the Provost's Office issued the first of two requests for proposals from colleges and schools to determine what improvements were needed to accommodate changes brought about by the change in academic calendar.
While some classrooms needed more seating and some labs needed more workstations, Curtis noted that faculty in most of the affected areas were also quick to point out the need for more modern technology and for a physical environment more suitable for learning in many classrooms and labs.
The Telecommunications and Facilities divisions played key roles in many
aspects of the classroom and lab upgrades, she said, citing the work of
telecommunication specialists, university architects, construction crews,
electricians, painters and others. "A lot of units and people worked
together to develop these priorities for classroom and lab improvements
and to bring them about," she said.
Sites receiving new instructional technology
* Thach 112: Renovation and installation of instructional technology.
* Foreign Languages: Classroom completed.
* Parker auditoriums: Instructional technology and air conditioning being designed.
* College of Education: Instructional technology installed in five classrooms.
* Goodwin 102: Renovation and instructional technology being designed.
* Biggin 92: Instructional technology being designed and air quality being improved.
Laboratory and studio improvements
* Haley 3234: Foreign Language lab, new.
* Spidle 102: Interior Environments studio, new.
* Spidle 238: Food preparation lab, new.
* Miller 204: Nursing video lab being designed.
* Petrie Hall: New compute lab being designed.
* Digital photographic studio in Art awaiting completion of Biggin study.
* Computers for English, Art, Journalism, and Computer Science and Software Engineering.
* Equipment for Communication.
* Music keyboards for Music Education.
* Projection equipment for Theatre.
* Unit operations equipment for Chemical Engineering.
Building Science honors
Linda Cain Ruth, left, and Peter M. Weiss, both faculty in the Department of Building Science, were recently recognized for honors they have received. Ruth was given a Design Award from Landscape Structures, a playground manufacturer in Delano, Minn., for a master plan of an outdoor play/learn area for Dean Road Elementary School in Auburn. Weiss received a Member/Honor Award from the Alabama Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the renovation of and addition to the First Baptist Church in Troy.
Care available for older children of faculty, staff on Jan. 3-7
With Auburn University reopening after the holidays on Jan. 3 and Auburn City Schools reopening a week later, parents of 10- through 14-year-olds are looking for supervised activities for their children.
Supervised activities for that age group will be provided Jan. 3-7 in AU's Quad Center through an expansion of the Bridges Program of the Employers' Child Care Alliance in Lee County.
The Bridges Program helps parents find a safer, more secure alternative to a "home alone" environment for children who are too old for traditional child care and too young to be left without adult supervision, said Lynne Hammond, president of the Child Care Alliance.
Hammond is executive assistant to the AU president and represents the university in the employer-sponsored alliance, which is operated under the nonprofit umbrella of the Child Care Resource Center.
"Children in the 10- through 14-year-old age group are at that in-between age when they don't need to be in a child care center but you don't want to leave them at home without supervision," said Hammond. "As the name implies, this program bridges the gap."
The program will also be available in December for employees of local industries and governments that maintain operations during the holiday period, but university employees are unlikely to need the service during that period, Hammond said.
"The big need for faculty and staff will be the week after New Year's, when the university is open but the schools are not," she added.
Hammond said the winter program will use the same approach as the highly successful summer Bridges Program, with age-appropriate activities arranged around a club-based curriculum. Children are assigned to clubs organized around activities they choose.
To sign up your child for the Bridges Program, which costs $15 per day,
contact Laura Boles, Bridges Program coordinator, at 749-8400 or at the
Child Care Resource Center in Midway Plaza.
Blagburn appointed to rank of University Professor
Byron Blagburn, a world-renowned parasitologist on the AU faculty, has been named Auburn's 10th Distinguished University Professor.
Blagburn of the College of Veterinary Medicine was appointed to the position -- one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a faculty member -- by President William Muse for his contributions to AU and the animal health industry, specifically the parasite-control market.
Since the early 1990s, Blagburn has played a primary role in nearly every major development in his field, including development of products such as Novartis' Program and Sentinel, Bayer's Advantage, and Merial's Frontline. Most recently he has collaborated with Pfizer Animal Health on its new Revolution heartworm and flea control droplets.
The position of Distinguished University Professor was created in 1984 to attract and retain scholars who have excelled in their field and it is limited to less than 1 percent of the total full-time faculty.
Blagburn, who joined the Auburn faculty in 1982, has served as Alumni Professor of Parasitology in the Department of Pathobiology. He has been the recipient of grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, the American Foundation for Aids Research, as well as numerous collaborative grants and contracts from industry. In 1987, he received the Beecham Award for Research Excellence.
AU gets new assistant provost for multicultural affairs
John Okegbe Bello-Ogunu, a native of Nigeria, has been named AU's new assistant provost for multicultural affairs, effective Jan. 1. Bello-Ogunu replaces Johnny Green, who has held the position on an interim basis since April, when James Brown left for a position in Louisiana.
Bello-Ogunu is associate professor of communications and former acting director of the Department of Communications at Oakland University in Michigan. His experience includes four years as associate dean for multicultural affairs and director of international programs at Bluffton (Ohio) College and three years as an advisor to the president at Edinboro (Pa.) University on issues relating to minority student recruitment and retention.
Bello-Ogunu, who grew up in Europe, came to the United States in 1981. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mass communication from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Southern A&M University, respectively, and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and public address from Ohio University.
Bello-Ogunu says he is impressed by the number of multicultural recruitment and retention initiatives already in existence at Auburn, but hopes to help develop a more unified approach. He also stressed the need for support from the AU campus and the community.
Director named for planned art museum
Director named for planned art museum
Michael De Marsche has been named director of AU's Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art, effective Jan. 1, 2000.
De Marsche is director of the University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art. He is also an assistant professor of art history and museum studies and curator of collections at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.
"Michael De Marsche will bring to Auburn University and to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art a breadth of experience and imagination, coupled with sparkling energy that will enable him to establish a position of prominence for this museum in our community and region, and in the world of art more broadly," said John Heilman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
While at USM, De Marsche oversaw all aspects of the museum's operations, including acquiring funding to implement an extensive renovation of the facility, with a redesign of exhibition space and an addition to the building.
Before joining USM in 1996, De Marsche was director of the Chatham (Pa.)
College Art Gallery and an instructor in art history for five years, serving
one year as interim chairperson of the Art Department.
He received a bachelor's degree in art history from Arizona State University, two master's degrees in art history from Arizona State University and Stanford University and the Ph.D. in art history from Stanford University.
Construction on AU's 29,000-square-foot museum at the corner of South College Street and Woodfield Drive, is projected to begin in the spring of 2000. The museum is being designed by the architectural firm of Gresham, Smith & Partners of Birmingham and Nashville.
Former AU presidents recall Steagall's service to Auburn
Former AU Trustee Henry B. Steagall II of Ozark, a prominent figure in Alabama government and judicial arenas for more than 40 years, was remembered fondly by two former AU presidents following his death on Nov. 20.
After a 16-year stint in the Alabama Legislature, Steagall served on the AU Board of Trustees from 1971-87, and was president pro tempore of the board from 1984-87. He was a member of the Alabama Supreme Court from 1986 until his retirement in 1995.
The 1947 Auburn graduate received an honorary doctor of laws degree
from AU in 1996.
Steagall, who died following an extended illness, was remembered by
President Emeritus Harry M. Philpott and President Emeritus James E.
Martin as one of the most influential and supportive leaders they
encountered during their presidencies. Each worked several years with
Steagall in his capacity as a board member and as a state official.
"Both Auburn and the state of Alabama benefitted from his quiet, dignified leadership," said Martin. "He's going to be missed by everybody who knew him."
Philpott remembered Steagall as highly supportive of the university as a legislator and later as a trustee. "He devoted a great deal of time and attention to the university," said Philpott. "He did a great job advancing Auburn."
The Ozark attorney served from 1954-70 in the Alabama House, representing Dale County. He served from 1975-79 as executive secretary to Gov. George C. Wallace and from 1983-86 as state finance director during Wallace's final term as governor.
Philpott, who was president from 1965-80, said he was impressed with Steagall long before the Ozark attorney joined the Auburn board. "Outside of the Lee County delegation, Henry was one of the greatest supporters of Auburn in the Legislature," he said.
Steagall was president pro tem of the AU Board during the first three years of Martin's presidency. "He was always interested in seeing the university develop in quality and seeing it grow," Martin recalled.
Student Success Center gets grant for Appalachian
Spirit of Excellence
Each month the university presents Spirit of Excellence awards to four employees for exceptional service. Recipients for November were, from left, Aubrey Bryant of Facilities, Margaret Mask of Student Financial Aid, David Smith of the Aqautics Center and Glenda Miley of CopyCat
Student Success Center gets grant for Appalachian service
Auburn's Student Success Center has received a one-year, renewable $141,000 grant to place 20 AU students in service-learning positions with community leaders and other mentors in Alabama's Appalachian region.
The grant, from the Appalachian Regional Commission, will help support a campuswide effort to identify and train capable students and expand AU's service learning initiative.
The AU students will work in any of several types of agencies, etc., where a need is identified (including chambers of commerce, schools, hospitals, county and city commissions or councils, extension offices, etc.) in one of the 37 Alabama counties in the Appalachian region.
The Appalachian region includes all or part of the following Alabama counties: Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, Dekalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.
Konstant named to post in Technology Transfer Office
George Konstant, formerly interim director of Auburn's Study Abroad/Exchange Office and assistant director of the Office of International Programs and Services, has been named associate director of the Office of Technology Transfer.
Konstant holds a Master of Business Administration degree and bachelor's degrees in accounting and chemistry from Auburn. He has been an AU employee since 1986.
During his tenure with AU's International Programs, Konstant also served as assistant director of the Study Abroad/Exchange program and manager of International Projects.
From 1988 to 1989, Konstant was assistant director of Contracts and Grants Administration (now the Office of Sponsored Programs), and from 1986 to 1988, a contract specialist. He also has worked as an accountant and tax consultant and is a musician and business manager for the Auburn based group Muse.
"We are extremely pleased and fortunate to have George as a part of our program," said Jan Thornton, director of the Office of Technology Transfer. "His business background, coupled with his knowledge of the university and its work internationally will be a tremendous benefit to our technology transfer efforts."
Konstant replaces Wendy Streitz, who left Auburn last summer. Konstant is one of two former International Programs officers who have left that office for other positions in the past year. Harlan Henson left to become the director of the College Consortium for International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Dot Bunn, office administrator in the Department of Industrial Design, gets some help packing from Chris Handago, a senior industrial design student. The department is moving from their Smith Hall location to Wallace Hall.
Authority on race relations to speak at AU on Jan. 13
Jan R. Carew, an internationally recognized professor, author and authority on race relations, will be the keynote speaker for "Celebrating the Dream: Commitment to Diversity," Auburn's Jan. 13 celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
The event, sponsored by the Office of Vice President for University Outreach and the Office of Minority Advancement, will be at 6 p.m. in the Foy Student Union Ballroom.
Carew is an Emeritus Professor of African-American and Third World Studies at Northwestern University. He has lectured in Race Relations at London University and has served as an advisor to heads of states in numerous countries in Africa and in Black Studies departments at several universities across the United States.
"I believe the university will enjoy Professor Carew as the speaker," said Daryl Hale, assistant director for minority advancement. "He is uniquely qualified to speak on diversity and what students should do to prepare themselves for the 21st century and beyond."
"We hope this program will convey to everyone that diversity can be a strength for this country and that America should set an example for the world."
The free program will also feature musical selections by the Auburn University Gospel Choir and the Selma High School Choir. A reception in Foy 217 Foy Union will follow the program.
For more information, call the Office of Minority Advancement at 844- 3491.
Textbook purchase provides aid to Biosystems students
A timber design class taught by Steve Taylor of the Biosystems Engineering Department received outside help this quarter in the form of textbooks purchased for the class by an industry sponsor.
TruJoist MacMillan, a unit of Weyerhauser Corp., purchased and donated the textbooks costing about $70 each for the 40 seniors and graduate students in Taylor's class. The course examines engineering characteristics and design of structural wood components. The textbook, Allowable Stress Design Manual for Engineered Wood Construction, is published by the American Forest and Paper Association.
Study cites AIES role in economic growth
The Auburn Industrial Extension Service helped create 52 new jobs and retain 200 others in its work with clients in the manufacturing sector in 1998- 99, according to a new study. The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that each U.S. manufacturing job supports another 1.1 jobs elsewhere in the economy for an estimated impact of 529 jobs in Alabama.
Work by AIES, which is based at Auburn, also helped increase manufacturers' sales by an estimated $2.7 million. AIES is an Alabama Technology Network center that provides to small to medium sized manufacturers.
Competition opens for environmental research awards
AU researchers are eligible to compete for part of $1.5 million being awarded this year through the Alabama Legacy for Environmental Research Trust awards program.
The ALERT program, administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health, last year awarded research grants ranging from $30,000 to $150,000 with an average of about $54,000 per award. Projects funded involve environmental research; programs that improve public awareness about environmental issues; and industrial and business environmental education in the areas of hazardous waste production, reduction, transportation and disposal.
Proposals should be postmarked by Feb.1, 2000. Awards will be announced by May 1, 2000. Requests for applications and questions about the ALERT program should be directed to Research Consultants, Attn.: William J. Gonsenbach, Ph.D., 11981 Grandview Dr., Northport, AL 35475, 205/333 7916.
Competition opens for Waterman Awards for research
AU faculty are eligible to compete for the Alan T. Waterman Award, which provides $500,000 in unrestrictive research support over a three-year period.
The award, which recognizes outstanding young researchers, is the highest honor awarded by the National Science Foundation. It is open to any field of research supported by the NSF, including research or advanced study in mathematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, social or other sciences.
Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, must be 35 years
old or younger, or not more than seven years beyond receipt of the Ph.D.
Criteria include originality, innovation and significant impact on the field.
Nominations must be postmarked by Dec. 31. For more information or to obtain nomination packets contact: Susan E. Fannoney , executive secretary, Alan T. Waterman Award Committee, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Rm 1220, Arlington, Va 22230; phone: 703/306-1096; e-mail:email@example.com.
Buffets set for faculty/staff Dec. 13-15
Monday through Wednesday,Dec. 13-15, AU Dining (Sodexho Marriott Services) will host faculty/staff appreciation buffets at the War Eagle Cafeteria. This event is a collaborative effort between AU Dining (Sodexho Marriott Services) and the United Way of Lee County. Traditional holiday foods will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Each meal will include entrees, vegetables, rolls, beverage and dessert for $5. A portion of each day's proceeds will be donated to the United Way of Lee County via the Campus United Way Campaign.
Campus Phone Directories Available
The 1999-2000 campus telephone directories are now available at the AU Bookstore in Haley Center. Deans, directors and department heads may assign someone to pick up directories for the faculty and staff of their units. Student distribution is through Alpha Phi Omega and the Foy Union desk.
Research society seeks nominations
The AU Chapter of Sigma Xi scientific research society is calling for membership nominations.. Application forms may be printed from the national Sigma Xi web site (sigmaxi.org/membership/nominationform.htm) and sent to the president, Edward J. Parish, Department of Chemistry, for consideration. Formal installation of new members will take place at the spring awards banquet.
Campus Views: On the Ethics of Publishing
By Glenn Anderson, Assistant Dean, AU Libraries
Just last year Michael Rosenzweig, founder and long-time editor of Evolutionary Ecology, abandoned this respected journal and took his entire editorial staff with him to found a new journal.
Rosensweig's reason for this seemingly quixotic move was his disgust with the soaring subscription price of Evolutionary Ecology, which had climbed to over $700 per year for libraries. The new journal, Evolutionary Ecology Research, charges $305 per year and is committed to maintaining a low price.
When I read about Rosenzweig I couldn't help hoping for a sequence of events in which biological scientists, sharing Rosenzweig's disgust with piratical subscription charges, quit submitting their research to Evolutionary Ecology. Instead they supported Evolutionary Ecology Research. The overpriced Evolutionary Ecology shriveled up and died; as a bonus, this death bruised the publisher, which sells more than one overpriced title. The less expensive new journal thrived, buoyed up by the doughty scholars who had spurned an expensive journal that denied access to those who cannot or will not pay for it. In a better world, this sequence would already be underway -- and, in a limited sense, it is. Unfortunately, a parallel sequence of events has also already begun: the more costly Evolutionary Ecology has assembled a new editorial board that includes scholars from Oxford, Cambridge, and Duke, and the publisher's wealth and weight remain solidly behind it.
I am an unabashed admirer of determined resolve like Michael Rosenzweig's, resolve that is clearly motivated by moral outrage rather than self interest. Still, I cannot help but ponder the level of outrage Rosenzweig might have soared to had the journal he edited dwarfed the $700 fee charged by Evolutionary Ecology. Imagine, for example, Rosenzweig as editor of Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research -- which charged Auburn University $13,785 last year (we could pay over $150,000 during the next ten years, $500,000 during the next thirty). Or Surface Science ($13,197 last year). Or Tetrahedron or Tetrahedron Letters ($9,862 and $7,936 last year). Each of these titles is frequently cited and prized by researchers; each is also owned by a commercial publisher with a record for delivering handsome dividends to its stockholders.
Librarians at research universities, guided by researchers, have gone to extraordinary lengths to preserve these expensive subscriptions. We have shifted monies for monographs to journal budgets rapidly enough to drive typical university press print runs from the thousands to the hundreds--and drive many of these presses to bankruptcy. We have buried provosts with appeals for additional money -- always at the expense of other university initiatives and often at the cost of intensifying administrative perceptions that libraries are incomprehensible black holes. We have tried, sometimes successfully, to build in journal inflation costs as automatic annual additions to library budgets. (Imagine the delight in a publishing company board room over a group of customers who guarantee beforehand to pay any price increase demanded.)
Those who study the marketing strategies of commercial journal publishers in science-technology-medicine describe large university libraries as "inelastic" in our demand for high-priced journals. By this I think is meant that if a deli or a mechanic we use increases prices precipitously, we "elastically" take our business elsewhere. Unreasonable pricing drives us to alternatives. In the research library world, the lack of acceptable alternatives has rendered us "inelastic" despite what virtually everyone would recognize as unreasonable pricing.
Enter SPARC -- the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Launched with support from members of the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC supports partnerships with publishers who are developing high quality, economical alternatives to existing overpriced publications. For example, Organic Letters ($2,300), a SPARC-sponsored journal published by the American Chemical Society, is offered as an alternative to Tetrahedron Letters ($7,936). PhysChemComm ($353), published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, is offered as an alternative to Chemical Physics Letters ($8,060). SPARC also sponsored Michael Rosenzweig's new journal. BioOne, an electronic aggregation of the full texts of dozens of the leading research journals in biological, ecological, and environmental sciences, is another initiative being developed with support from SPARC and several professional associations.
Electronic publishing ventures at Columbia University (Columbia
Earthscape), the University of California (eScholarship), and MIT (MIT
CogNet) have received $519,000 in development funding from SPARC. The
SPARC goals of 1) providing lower priced, high quality alternatives to
overpriced journals, 2) shifting scholarly journal publishing toward
professional and learned societies and away from commercial publishers,
and 3) supporting lower priced scholarly publications by funding
conversions to electronic formats are evident in these initiatives.
Thus far, the impact of these SPARC-sponsored alternatives can only be described as negligible.
Auburn University, a charter member of SPARC and subscriber to the SPARC journals, now pays for these journals as well as for the more expensive competitors. The "Rosenzweig model" -- moral outrage leading to a determined resolve to oppose publishers of overpriced journals -- seems to be a unique phenomenon rather than a catalyst for the rest of us. The fact is -- concerning the journal subscriptions we can afford to provide for researchers and scholars -- university librarians (and not a few provosts) find themselves near the end of their rope. At the other end of that rope, where one would expect to find well-heeled CEOs from commercial publishing companies, we also seem to discern hosts of scholars and researchers who are supporting the most piratical of the commercial publishing companies with their research and editorial assistance.
We need more Michael Rosenzweigs, more who see that issues in scholarly communication transcend the fussy arenas of libraries or budgeting. More who see that publishing decisions are not insulated from ethical considerations, that one shouldn't sign copyright privileges over to publishers who will sell one's research at astronomical prices.
As a small piece from the librarian's part, we at Auburn intend to
publicize the prices that Auburn pays for journals, to make information
and alternatives from SPARC available to faculty, and to initiate
discussions about these issues through the University Library Committee.
However, the larger part rests with the researchers and scholars for
whom these journals exist. It is they who must ponder the actions of
Michael Rosenzweig. Then go and do likewise.
Unsung Hero: Altamese Stroud-Hill
This week's Unsung Hero is Altamese Stroud-Hill, a supervisor of word processing in the College of Education's Learning Resources Center. She has been at Auburn for 13 years. She was asked:
What do you do in your current job? "I am involved with all aspects of word processing: keying in and scanning documents and the creation of all types of documents (fliers, brochures, booklets, manuscripts, forms, name tags, certificates, etc.). I also supervise one employee."
What is the most rewarding part of your job? "Helping people to get their work done -- in the best way and in as timely a manner as possible. I truly love the work I do here."
What is the most challenging part of your job? "Getting the most work done in the least amount of time allowed -- everyone wants or needs everything right now."
If you were not doing this job, what would you most like to do? "I think I
would like to be able to help those people who are not very confident on
using computers. Many people just don't understand how to use them --
they are so afraid that they'll break something or delete the wrong thing."
What was your first impression of Auburn University? "Smiling, helpful people. Everyone I met that day seemed genuinely glad that I was here and that they could help me."
How has that impression changed? "People seem to be much more in a hurry. They are still friendly -- it's just that they have a little less time to stop and smell the flowers of the world."
What words best describe Auburn as a work environment, learning environment or just a place to be? "I feel that Auburn has a helpful work environment, possesses a friendly learning environment, and is truly a congenial place to be."
What do you like to do when not at work? "I like to read (especially mysteries), sew, work on my computer, watch TV, relax with my family, and romp with my dog."
What person or persons do you most admire and why? "I greatly admire working mothers. These people are the backbone of Auburn, America and the world. They usually juggle so much (a family and all that entails, a home and all that entails, and a job/career and all that entails) and -- in most cases -- make it seem so effortless. Just think about the amount of information a working mother has to keep up with in one day -- it is enough to boggle the mind!"
Saturday, December 11
* Graduation, 2 p.m., Coliseum.
Tuesday, December 14
* Reading: Sena Jeter Nasland, from Ahab's Wife, 4 p.m., Pebble Hill.
Friday, December 31, 1999
Saturday, January 1, 2000
* Toomers 2000, celebration of New Year, 7 p.m-1 a.m.
Wednesday, January 5
* Noon deadline for submissions to the next AU Report.
Monday, January 10
* First AU Report of winter quarter.
Tuesday, January 11
* University Senate, 3:10 p.m., Broun Hall auditorium.
Thursday, January 13
* Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Speaker: Jan R. Carew, 7 p.m., Foy Ballroom.
Final AU Report of 1999
This is the final AU Report of fall quarter -- and of the year, the decade, the century and the millennium. The first AU Report of the third millennium, A.D., will be Jan. 10, 2000. The deadline for news items for that edition is Jan. 5. Watch the AU Report main page for updates on campus news in the interim.
Editor: Roy Summerford. Contributing editors: Bob Lowry, Janet McCoy and David Granger. University Relations Executive Director: Pete Pepinsky. The AU Report is the faculty/staff newsletter of Auburn University and is published
by the Office of University Relations at Auburn University. Direct correspondence to AU Report, 23 Samford Hall, Auburn University, Ala. 36849-5109. Telephone 334/844-9999.
Electronic mail: firstname.lastname@example.org