Auburn University trustees name new university president

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AUBURN, Ala. – The Trustees of Auburn University have named the university’s 19th president. They named Dr. Steven Leath from Iowa State University.

A 14-member committee began a national search in September after President Jay Gouge announced his intention to retire this summer.

“This is a great day for Auburn,” said trustee Raymond Harbert, who chaired the 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.”

The Auburn University Facebook Page live streamed the announcement this morning:

Iowa State University’s website indicates Leath became president of the university in January of 2012.

While president, Iowa State 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.

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 website also indicates Leath is a pilot, and an outdoors-man who enjoys bird hunting and bow hunting.

Gogue has held Auburn’s top position since July 2007. The two-time Auburn graduate is known for engaging with students, supporting faculty and creating a strong university partnership with the local community. After stepping down as president later this year, he 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.”