Auburn names Steven Leath 19th president - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Auburn names Steven Leath 19th president

Source: AU Source: AU
(WAFF) -

Auburn’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to elect Steven Leath as the university’s 19th president.

The decision is the culmination of a six-month national search to replace Jay Gogue, who announced his retirement in September.

“This is a great day for Auburn,” said trustee Raymond Harbert, who chaired the 14-member presidential search committee. “Dr. Leath is a strategic leader who will work alongside the campus community and alumni to elevate Auburn to the next level in instruction, research and outreach.”

Leath comes to Auburn from Iowa State, where he had been since 2012. Under his leadership, ISU achieved its highest student graduation rate, lowered student debt, grew research expenditures, set fundraising records and secured the university’s largest private gift for an academic facility.

After beginning his career as a plant pathologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Leath moved on to the University of North Carolina, where he served as vice president for research. He has earned degrees in plant science and plant pathology from Pennsylvania State University, the University of Delaware and the University of Illinois.

“We found an accomplished leader through an inclusive search process with all campus constituencies represented,” said Larry Teeter, professor of forest economics and immediate past chair of the university senate. Teeter served on the presidential search committee along with others representing Auburn students, faculty, staff and alumni.

As for the departing president, who has held the university’s top position since 2007, Gogue will remain at Auburn teaching a higher education administration course and conducting special projects.

“The contribution Jay and Susie Gogue made to Auburn is immeasurable,” said Charles McCrary, president pro tem of the Auburn Board. “We’re fortunate they will remain part of the Auburn community.”

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