BY HANNAH LESTER
The Auburn University Board of Trustees voted to confirm Auburn’s 21st President Dr. Chris Roberts on Friday.
Roberts has served as the Dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering since 2012 but began as an assistant professor at Auburn in 1994.
“As you know, this campus has been extremely busy with its search for Auburn’s 21st President,” said Trustee Wayne Smith. “We have mentioned several times during the process that selecting a President is one of the most important decisions any university board of trustees can make.
“I’m excited today to share that we have completed our search.”
The search included over 60 original candidates which were narrowed down to 15 candidates, Smith said.
Five were then invited to meet with the search committee.
“Following those sessions, the board invited three of those individuals to campus, of the three invited, Dr. Chris Roberts accepted the invitation and met with the various stakeholder groups around the state,” Smith said. “Dr. Roberts met with students, along with faculty, staff, administrators and more sharing his vision and answering questions from members of the Auburn family.
“Dr. Robert’s visit to campus was an unequivocal success. Personally, I could not have been more pleased.”
Roberts will begin his term on May 16, 2022.
“As a member of the board since 2004, this is my third presidential search and I have to say this one has been the smoothest and a very well-run search,” said Sarah Newton, who chaired the Presidential Advisory Search Committee.
“… I have known Dr. Chris Roberts for over 18 years. Dr. Roberts’ passionate commitment to students, to faculty, to staff and to alumni and his success in research and fundraising are impressive. But the most impressive thing is that he loves Auburn and it makes him a natural choice for presidential consideration.”
The search began following Auburn President Jay Gogue’s request that the board look for a new president in June 2021.
“I think it’s important for you guys to begin to think about a search for a new president,” Gogue said at that board of trustees meeting. “I’ve been back a couple of years and I just think it’s probably time.”
Gogue served as Auburn’s president for a total of over 11 years, plus a period of about six months as interim president. He served as both the 18th president at Auburn and the 20th.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be named the next president of Auburn University,” Roberts said in a university press release. “Having called Auburn home for the past 28 years, I feel privileged to lead this distinguished university as we pursue even greater levels of impact and excellence.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the faculty, staff, students, alumni, Auburn University Board of Trustees and community for entrusting me with this responsibility. I look forward to working with the Auburn Family to build upon our strong foundation as we advance towards our goals and aspirations for the future.”