The Auburn University Board of Trustees unanimously voted today to select Dean Christopher B. Roberts of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering as the university’s 21st president. Roberts will begin serving on May 16 and replaces Jay Gogue, who announced his retirement in June.
In discussing Roberts’ campus visits, Trustee Wayne Smith, who chaired the 22-member presidential advisory search committee, said Roberts’ visit to campus was an unequivocal success.
“Personally, I could not have been more pleased,” Smith said. “We all have every confidence that he is the right person to provide strong and thoughtful leadership that will enhance Auburn’s visibility and impact for the 21st century.”
The naming follows a nine-month national search that involved transparency and shared governance through a thorough search and campus community input. Roberts was selected as Auburn’s next leader for his proven record as a well-qualified and accomplished dean with great integrity, vision and an unmatched love of all things Auburn. Gogue will continue in his role through May 16 when Roberts will then assume the full duties of president.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be named the next president of Auburn University,” Roberts said. “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.”
Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri in 1990 and master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He began his career at Auburn in 1994 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and became department chair in 2003. He was named dean of engineering in July 2012. As further details are determined involving the forthcoming presidential transition, the Auburn Family will be kept apprised.
Gogue, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in horticulture from Auburn, returned to his alma mater in 2007, as the university’s 18th president and retired as president emeritus in 2017. He was appointed by the university’s Board of Trustees to serve as interim president in 2019 and appointed the university’s 20th president in 2020.
“President Gogue has served our great university incredibly well, twice,” President Pro Tempore Bob Dumas said. “During his two presidential terms, Dr. Gogue improved every aspect of Auburn’s land-grant mission. We will be forever grateful to Jay and Susie for coming out of retirement when called upon three years ago. Jay expertly led us through many challenging times these past couple of years and leaves the university well positioned for our next president.”