Auburn University has begun looking for its 21st president.
Board of Trustees Member Wayne Smith released a letter Wednesday announcing the search for the new president and said an exploratory committee had already selected Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC, an executive search firm that has conducted president and chancellor searches for several universities around the nation, to assist the university with recruiting presidential candidates.
“Selecting the next president is one of the most important decisions our Board of Trustees will make,” Smith said in the letter. “The search will be inclusive, collaborative and transparent. We are committed to actively seeking a diverse pool of exceptional candidates.”
While Smith will serve as the presidential search chairperson, Trustee Sarah Newton will lead a 22-member presidential search advisory committee made up of faculty, staff, students, alumni and other Alabamians, according to the letter.
“There is no set timetable for the completion of this search,” Smith said in the letter. “We are dedicated to being diligent, yet expeditious in our pursuit to find a world-class leader for Auburn University. Thank you for investing your time to help us in this critical process.”
The announcement of the search for the university’s next president follows the announcement of current Auburn University Jay Gogue’s intent to retire during a June board of trustees meeting.
“Rather than to continue, I think it’s important for you guys to start thinking about a new president,” he told the board during his president’s report during the meeting on June 11.
Gogue’s career at Auburn spans 12 years. Gogue, an Auburn University bachelor’s and master’s graduate in horticulture, returned to his alma mater on July 16, 2007, as Auburn University’s 18th president and retired as president emeritus on July 1, 2017.
He was appointed by the university’s board of trustees to serve as interim president effective July 8, 2019, following the departure of former Auburn University President Steven Leath. Gogue was again appointed president effective Feb. 7, 2020.