Mar 21, 2017 08:37 AM EDT
Iowa State University President Steven Leath has been announced to become the 19th president of Auburn University. This comes after the selection process was criticized for not being transparent to the campus community.
Auburn University Board of Trustees has named Dr. Leath as the university's next president. The decision was confirmed after they voted during a special meeting at the Student Center on campus on Monday, AL.com reported.
Current president Jay Gogue described Dr. Leath as being "immensely qualified." He also explained why none of the candidates have been announced prior to the decision.
Gogue admitted that confidentiality is important when recruiting for the position. The institution worked with executive search firm R. William Funk and Associates to collate the list of candidates.
Back in 2007, when current Auburn University president Jay Gogue was appointed, he met with the public before he got selected. This time, however, no candidates have been announced in the duration of the search and not one was given the chance to meet the community.
The executive search firm has previously said that the candidates would not be announced if they are active presidents in other institutions. This is because the search may jeopardize the candidates' careers.
Dr. Leath will be taking over Gogue's position after he retires this summer. The Iowa State University president expressed his excitement at working with Auburn University and promised to "work tirelessly" for the benefit of the institution.
Leath has served Iowa State University since 2012. He also served as vice president for research at the University of North Carolina.
He was recently criticized after an audit by the Iowa Board of Regents found that he used a university-owned airplane for personal benefit. Apparently, he used the plane for medical appointments in Minnesota, personal flight lessons as well as for trips on his North Carolina home. He has since reimbursed the university for said flights.
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