Smith, Givhan, Fite and Demarioribus were recommended for interviews by all five members of the trustee selection committee.
The two people picked by the selection committee will have to be confirmed by the state Senate in the legislative session beginning Feb. 5.
When Bentley first came into office in 2011, the trustee selection committee picked some trustee nominees without going through public interviews. That caused a backlash, and the Senate did not approve them. Since then, the committee has gone through a more transparent process, including public interviews and releasing the resumes of all candidates. Those trustees have won Senate approval.
"When you hear complaints, you say, 'We must be doing something wrong," Bentley said. He said the committee changed the process to become more transparent and has had no complaints.
"I think the process that has been put in place made the Auburn family feel we did it right," he said.
Bentley, a graduate of the University of Alabama, flew back to Montgomery to attend the meeting after watching his alma mater win the national football championship Monday night in Miami. He serves as an Auburn trustee and heads the selection committee by virtue of being governor.