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A spirit that is not afraid

Search for next University president underway

<p>Auburn University President delivers a short speech at the Auburn Medical Pavilion.</p>

Auburn University President delivers a short speech at the Auburn Medical Pavilion.

Auburn University’s search for its next president is officially underway.

In a letter to faculty, staff and students, Board of Trustee member Wayne Smith announced that an exploratory committee had selected an executive search firm to find a new president. Smith said he has also formed a Presidential Search Advisory Committee that will vet candidates before recommending them to the Board of Trustees.  

There is currently no timetable for the completion of the search, Smith wrote.

The exploratory committee unanimously selected Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC, out of the four consulting firms selected for interviews conducted last week, Smith wrote. 

Greenwood/Asher & Associates is a Florida-based consulting and training firm founded by former university professors and presidents Jan Greenwood and Betty Asher that focuses on education and nonprofit organizations.

Since moving into the executive search business in 1992, Greenwood/Asher & Associates has successfully completed more than 2,000 searches, according to its website. Current university presidents selected by the firm include University of Florida president Kent Fuchs, George Mason University president Gregory Washington and former University of South Florida president Steve Currall. 

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee is made up of 22 faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. The committee, chaired by trustee Sarah Newton, will recruit and vet candidates selected by the firm in order to recommend the finalists to the Board of Trustees. 

“Selecting the next president is one of the most important decisions our Board of Trustees will make,” Smith wrote in the email. “The search will be inclusive, collaborative and transparent. We are committed to actively seeking a diverse pool of exceptional candidates.”

President Jay Gogue announced at a June 11, 2021, Board of Trustees meeting that he was planning to retire soon and that the Board should start looking for someone to fill his role. 

“I think it’s important for you guys to begin to think about a search for a new president,” Gogue said in June. “I’ve been back a couple of years, and I think it’s probably time for me to do that.”

Gogue previously served as University president from 2007-17 before coming back for his encore performance following the departure of former president Steven Leath. 

Evan Mealins | Editor-in-chief

Evan Mealins, senior in philosophy and economics, is the editor-in-chief of The Auburn Plainsman.


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