Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Auburn University board selects new president

Auburn University board selects new president

Trustees at Auburn University in Alabama voted this morning to approve ISU President Steve Leath as AU's 19th president.

Leath has served Iowa State University since 2012.

"To the trustees, I appreciate your trust and confidence", Leath said in the meeting after asked if he'd like to speak.

"The first thing I would like to say is War Eagle", Leah said, opening his comments.

"Auburn is a very special place, Leath said. If he has land-grant experience, he will know who we are". "I want to make it clear that the University is really about the people".

According to a press release on its website regarding the presidential search, "the University is seeking a visionary leader who has impeccable integrity, exemplary interpersonal and communication skills and a passion for educating students and preparing them for successful and productive lives". Board members met to consider whether to retain Leath after receiving an audit detailing his use of university planes. He is believed to be an attractive pick for Auburn University because of his experience in agriculture and leadership at a land-grant institution.

President Leath holds a B.S.in plant science from Pennsylvania State University, M.S.in plant science from the University of DE, and Ph.D.in plant pathology from the University of IL.

Leath also appointed Jim Kurtenbach, former Republican lawmaker, to the more than $250,000 salaried position of interim chief information officer without a search around the same time Kurtenbach gave Leath personal flight lessons, according to the same report.

Jay Gogue, who has been the University's president since 2007, announced his retirement in September.

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