News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2007


AU’s new president has right priorities

Alabamians don’t know much about Auburn University’s new president because of the secrecy with which trustees conducted the search for Ed Richardson’s successor.

Some trustees said Jay Gogue (pronounced “Goozh”) impressed them so greatly there was no need to talk to other candidates a research group recommended. Gov. Bob Riley said he was “almost a perfect match for Auburn.”

Dr. Gogue’s love for campus life seems evident, and particularly for Auburn where he earned two degrees in horticulture. He earned his doctorate degree in horticulture at Michigan State University.

In talking to the press, Dr. Gogue emphasized the impact that college life has on people. He said each day in college adds about $2,000 to how much a student can earn over a lifetime.

But his most revealing comments were about the impact Auburn had on his life, recalling that if it hadn’t been for the faculty he might have flunked out his freshman year.

“The faculty went beyond the call of duty to help a little kid from rural Georgia,” he said.

He is a native of Waycross.

He plans to teach a course once he begins his tenure as Auburn’s 18th president July 16.

He also talked about bringing more research to The Plains, but he emphasized his role of helping people succeed.

Presently the president of the University of Houston, he is saying the right things in his debut back at Auburn. Helping others succeed is the fundamental role of any university, which puts Dr. Gogue on solid ground.

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