Gogue Sole Finalist for Auburn's Top Position

March 20, 2007

University of Houston President and UH System Chancellor Jay Gogue has been chosen as the sole finalist for the Auburn University presidency. It is expected that the Auburn Board of Trustees will vote on this recommendation later this week.

“Jay Gogue is one of higher education’s outstanding presidents, and it is not surprising that other universities approach him when they have an opening,” said UH System Board Chairman Leroy Hermes. “Since Auburn University is his alma mater and near his hometown and family, I can understand Chancellor Gogue’s decision to visit with them about their presidency. Indeed, when your undergraduate alma mater knocks at your door and asks you to come home and lead them, it is virtually impossible not to open that door.

“We, of course, believe that the opportunities in Houston and at the University of Houston are second to none, and would love to keep Jay and Susie here for a number of years yet.

“I do understand that Auburn’s search committee has named Dr. Gogue their sole finalist. If the job is offered and accepted, the University of Houston System Board of Regents will work with Dr. Gogue on a mutually beneficial transition and quickly move to determine our strategy for a national search.

“I want to assure the University of Houston System community and our supporters that the progress we have made under Dr. Gogue’s leadership will continue unabated. We are in the silent phase on a number of mini-campaigns to support facility needs and program excellence at the University of Houston, such as new buildings for optometry, business, engineering, music, Blaffer Gallery and others. Our long-range master plan is also well underway with a new $100 million dormitory complex scheduled to begin construction later this year.”

Gogue, who has been UH System chancellor and UH president since 2003, also responded to the announcement.

“There are very few positions that could entice me away from the University of Houston and the UH System,” Gogue said. “However, the opportunity to lead my alma mater to its next level of excellence is indeed a once in a lifetime possibility. I am honored to be the sole candidate for the presidency of Auburn. Any decision Susie and I may make about leaving Houston will be a very difficult one.

“We have been blessed with a tremendous team and community support and no matter what the final decision, I know the University of Houston and the UH System will continue to grow in quality and in impact.”

Eric Gerber