Records: AU trustees advised Leath on communication, morale

Records: AU trustees advised Leath on communication, morale
Auburn President Steven Leath shown in this file photo addresses the crowd at his installation ceremony. He has since parted ways with the university.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University trustees advised then-President Steven Leath to focus on communication and warned him of potential problems several months before his departure.

A performance assessment obtained through an open records request sheds light on trustees' concerns in September 2018 after Leath had been on the job for a year.

The mostly positive performance review cautioned that organizational changes could cause "unrest" among faculty and staff. It urged Leath to focus on morale as he attempted to make changes.

Trustees suggested that Leath should keep listening and learning from the "Auburn family." It also told him to keep trustees informed of high-level plans.

The university agreed to pay Leath $4.5 million as it announced his departure in June. The university described Leath’s departure as a mutual decision.