AUBURN, Ala.—Auburn University has taken its role in the war on hunger to a new level with the creation of the International Hunger Institute within the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. The institute, which the university’s Board of Trustees established at its meeting Feb. 3, will be funded by the AAES for three years and then will rely totally on extramural support.

The College of Human Sciences, one of five colleges and schools at Auburn affiliated with the AAES, proposed the institute based on its ongoing relationship with the United Nations World Food Programme and the university’s role as a land-, space- and sea-grant institution.

“No other institution is as well positioned to create an international hunger institute as Auburn University,” said June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences.

Henton and Harriet Giles, director of external relations for the college, are credited with starting Auburn’s role in the global war on hunger. In 2004, they spearheaded a partnership with the WFP to establish the War on Hunger campaign on campus, which then led to the development of a global movement, Universities Fighting World Hunger. More than 200 colleges and universities worldwide now are following Auburn’s model in the fight against hunger and malnutrition at home and abroad.

“The establishment of the International Hunger Institute represents Auburn’s long-term commitment to ending the most pressing human sustainability issue we face as a state, nation and world,” Henton said. “Our unique relationship with the World Food Programme, a focus on both domestic and global hunger, a student grassroots campaign coupled with an academic agenda, and our multi-sector partnerships will provide the Institute with the leverage needed to build the power of collective engagement in the fight against hunger.”

“Establishing this institute will build the infrastructure for securing greater levels of extramural funding and enhancing the already existing strong collaborations among various colleges at Auburn University and across the region, nation, and the world,” said Bill Batchelor, AAES director and dean of the College of Agriculture.

Henton will serve as the institute’s executive director and Giles will be its director of programming until funding is acquired to hire permanent staff.