AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn University has named Dr. Steven Leath the institution’s 19th president.
Leath has been the president of Iowa State University since January 2012. When accepting the position, he promised to work tirelessly to fill the position being vacated by Dr. Jay Gogue. Gogue is retiring this summer, but plans to remain at the university to teach a higher education administration course and conducting special projects.
Leath’s hiring comes at the end of six month search by the 14-member presidential search committee. Each campus constituency was equally represented by the committee. Some folks felt the selection process should have been more transparent, but President Pro-Tem of the Board, Charles McCrary addressed it after Dr. Leath was unanimously confirmed as president.
“When you’re recruiting these types of people, confidentiality is paramount, and it’s typical,” McCrary said. “We relied on the search committee. The search committee was exhaustive and extensive.”
Leath echoed McCrary’s thoughts on the selection process.
“Confidentiality in these processes adds a level of professionalism, and is becoming the norm, but that doesn’t change who I am once I get here,” Dr. Leath said. “I think if you talk to students, faculty, staff in Ames, Iowa, they’ll tell you I’m a pretty open, easily accessible guy. Heck, I walk to work everyday, and I plan to do that here a lot.”
Leath told the crowd that the university is already a tremendous place, but wants to raise the value of degrees for students and continue enhancing the university. He added that he is confident that Auburn can be a premier land-grant university in the country.
Leath plans to get to know his senior staff, learn the campus culture and get acquainted with the university’s budget in his first 100 days in office. Leath said the more he and his wife learned about Auburn, the more they wanted to come. Leath said that this a tremendous opportunity, and he can not wait to get started.
Leath’s first day on the job is set for July 15.