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Faudree to Step Down as U of M Provost

For release: August 6, 2012
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843

Dr. Ralph Faudree
Dr. Ralph Faudree

University of Memphis President Shirley C. Raines announced today that Dr. Ralph Faudree will step down as the University’s Provost effective August 31.  Faudree has served as Provost since July 2001.

Faudree will take a one-year sabbatical before returning to a teaching position in the Department of Mathematics, where he began his career at the U of M in 1971. In addition to serving as chair of the Department of Mathematics for 12 years, Faudree was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for five years, and he served as the U of M’s interim president from 2000-2001.

“Dr. Faudree’s leadership is synonymous with academic achievement at the University of Memphis,” Raines said.  “He will continue to make significant contributions to the University through his teaching and research.”

Faudree was instrumental in the establishment of the U of M’s School of Public Health, its School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, the Department of Earth Sciences, the Interdisciplinary Studies Center, and the Benjamin Hooks Institute, as well as the expansion and naming of the Helen Hardin Honors Program.

Throughout his academic career, Faudree has maintained an active research schedule in the areas of graphical Ramsey theory and Hamiltonian theory of graphs, resulting in more than 250 journal publications. He has served as a visiting professor at the Netherlands' University of Twente, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, the University of Paris, the University of Singapore, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.

It is at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that Faudree cemented his relationship with Paul Erdös, one of the 20th century's most prolific and respected mathematicians. They co-authored more than 50 publications in graph theory. Since Erdös's death in 1996, Faudree has continued the work they began together, collaborating with mathematicians in both Hungary and the United States. He has also helped to perpetuate Erdös's work by co-sponsoring the Erdös lecture series at the University of Memphis.  For many years he and his wife, Pat, have hosted mathematicians from around the world in their home.

In 2005 Faudree was awarded the Euler Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications.  The Euler Medal is a prestigious annual award given to mathematicians with prominent lifetime contributions to combinatorial research.  Additionally, he was a co-recipient of the University Distinguished Research Award (1978); the Superior Performance in Research Award (1986, 1988-90 and 1992-93); the College of Arts and Sciences Meritorious Faculty Award (1991) and the Board of Visitors' Eminent Faculty Award (1994).

Faudree received a Ph.D. and a master's degree in Mathematics from Purdue University.  Before joining the U of M in 1971, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois.

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