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December 19, 2006   Email to Friend 

Brian C. Keeter
(334) 844-4650
December 19, 2006

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn University President Ed Richardson today announced the appointment of Larry Fillmer to the newly created post of executive director for the Institute of Natural Resources.

Fillmer, a senior executive and CEO with more than 35 years experience in organizational management, has worked at AU since 2005 as a development director for major gifts and corporate relations. Before that, he served as president and CEO of the I-85 Corridor Alliance and for several corporations in the technology field.

"I am very pleased that Mr. Fillmer has accepted the position of executive director for the Institute of Natural Resources," said Richardson. "His experience in managing change is extensive and allows us to focus on bringing together the most critical areas connected to agriculture and natural resources to positively impact the university and the state."

In addition to leading the institute, Fillmer will direct two new research centers at AU: the Center for Alternative Energy and the Alabama Water Resources Center.

Richardson earlier this year committed $3 million to Auburn's alternative energy initiative, capitalizing on the university's research expertise in forestry, engineering and agriculture and positioning AU as a national leader in converting natural resources into fuels. Similarly, the Alabama Water Resources Center, which will be established on the AU campus, will serve as the primary organization with responsibility for addressing water issues in Alabama including those related to research, policy and outreach.

"It is a real privilege for me to serve the university in this position and a great opportunity to apply my experience dealing with complex organizational structures in the corporate environment to the institute," Fillmer said. "This is a tremendous opportunity to focus these critical activities at the university to benefit the state."

Richardson said the new institute and the leadership Fillmer brings mark a turning point at Auburn and provide an opportunity to build on the progress made in the past and effectively position the university for the years to come.

"There is indeed a bright future for the broad area of natural resources, and Auburn University has and will continue to contribute to it," Richardson said. "I have been greatly encouraged by those working in the natural resources arena. Their report will serve as a template for our initial steps. Dean Richard Guthrie, Dr. Gaines Smith and Dean Richard Brinker have been instrumental in this change and will be of great assistance to Mr. Fillmer.

"I anticipate a comprehensive progress report in April 2007 that will confirm the institute's value. Auburn's next president will have the opportunity to assess the institute and plan for further improvements."

Fillmer earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Auburn and also holds a master's degree in industrial management from the University of Alabama. He is a distinguished military graduate of the U.S. Air Force and a recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster, and Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

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