Iowa State University President Named as New President of Auburn University

Trustees vote to approve the selection at a special called meeting Monday morning

The Auburn Board of Trustees held a special meeting Monday to announce the new president of Auburn University. After Jay Gogue announced his retirement in September, the search began. After an extensive, nationwide search, the 19th president of Auburn University will be Dr. Steven Leath, from Iowa State University.

Trustees said he was the front runner for many reasons.

“Experienced, cares about his students, cares about his faculty, he is the perfect gentleman,” said Charles McCrary, Auburn Board of Trustees Pro Tem and CEO of Alabama Power Company.

Leath also has experience at land grant universities. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in plant science, before becoming Iowa state’s president in 2012.

“I plan to work along with faculty and staff to really enhance and grow our research and scholarly activity of campus and make our impact known throughout the state, nation and world through extension outreach and service,” said Leach.

But, there was some controversy during his term there.
He took a university owned aircraft and used it for his own personal use. But Leath made it clear, it will not happen here.

“Any use of university aircraft will be prudent and used for university business and I think we are past that,” said Leath.

Also, before the vote, no candidates had been announced. Some questioned the transparency of the search.

“When you are recruiting these type of people, confidentiality is paramount and it’s typical. The search committee did a phenomenal job of making the best decision for the people they represent and I think they did the best interest of Auburn,” said McCrary.

“There’s no reason to put the whole university through that if you aren’t going to go somewhere else. Confidentiality adds a level of professionalism,” added Leath.

The search committee admires Leath’s accomplishments and believe those will transfer over and continue to make Auburn university one of the top institutions in the nation.

“I will be a very accessible, open and transparent president and we are thrilled to be here,” said Leath.

Leath is expected to take the president position July 15.

As for Jay Gogue, he will continue to teach a graduate course at that University.

According to his Iowa State University biography, President Leath holds a B.S. in plant science from Pennsylvania State University, M.S. in plant science from the University of Delaware, and Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Illinois.

The online profile also provides information about Leath’s family and hobbies. Leath and his wife Janet have two adult sons, Eric and Scott. They own two dogs, Dixie and Quill. Leath is a pilot and an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys bird hunting, bow hunting, and is a member of the Boone and Crockett Club. His family owns and manages a Christmas tree farm in Ashe County, North Carolina.

CLICK HERE to check out Leath’s biography.

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