A message from the Board of Trustees

Published: September 01, 2021

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Dear Auburn Family,

I am pleased to announce that the national search for Auburn University’s 21st president is underway. Selecting the next president is one of the most important decisions our Board of Trustees will make. The search will be inclusive, collaborative and transparent. We are committed to actively seeking a diverse pool of exceptional candidates.

As presidential search chairperson, I assembled an exploratory committee to research and interview executive search firms to assist with the search. We sent an initial interest inquiry to more than a dozen consulting firms across the country. Four executive search firms were selected for interviews, which were conducted last week. The group unanimously selected Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC to assist with recruiting presidential candidates. Greenwood/Asher is a woman-led firm with a diverse recruiting and consulting team. The founders and partners, Jan Greenwood and Betty Asher, have both served as university presidents and tenured professors.

Since 1992, Greenwood/Asher has successfully completed more than 2,000 searches. The firm has conducted president/chancellor searches for several R-1 institutions, including the University of Florida, University of Kentucky, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Arkansas, University of Arizona, Ohio State University, George Mason University and the University of Maryland. 

After selecting Greenwood/Asher to assist with the search, I assembled a 22-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee. Trustee Sarah Newton will chair the advisory committee that includes faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the Alabama community. The advisory committee will recruit and vet candidates in order to recommend the finalists to the Board of Trustees.

Please visit the Auburn University Presidential Search website where you will find regular updates about the search. We will post the leadership profile in the coming days as well as details on how you can participate in listening sessions and provide feedback to the search advisory committee and Greenwood/Asher.

There is no set timetable for the completion of this search. 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.

War Eagle!

Wayne Smith
Auburn University Board of Trustees