Leath on 'short list' as next president of Auburn University

Claudine Rigal
Mars 21, 2017

The president of Iowa State University Steven Leath is leaving that school to become president at Auburn University. The search for the new leader at Auburn is now underway, according to Auburn's website.

As he told the Business Record in an interview a year ago, Leath told the recruiters that he had bought a retirement home in north-central Iowa, loved his role at Iowa State University and had no plans to leave.

Jay Gogue, who has been the University's president since 2007, announced his retirement in September. Under his leadership, Iowa State's enrollment has grown to more than 36,660 students; a transformative, $1.1 billion fundraising campaign was launched; and the size of the ISU Research Park has more than doubled, expected to employ 5,000 people by 2025.

Leath also ran into controversy in early July 2016 after purchasing land with the help from Summit Farms, a private company run by Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter.

Charles McCrary Chairman pro tem said the official action of voting for Leath took place in the Student Center to symbolize the President's dedication to serving students.

Leath has published nearly 100 scientific articles in his career, mainly on plant disease, pathology and breeding, according to his official Iowa State biography.

In the report, Larry Teeter, professor of forest economics and immediate past chair of the university senate, said, "We found an accomplished leader through an inclusive search process with all campus constituencies represented".

He promised to work with faculty in the spirit of collaboration and shared governance, and said to students that they will "always be first". Teeter served on the presidential search committee along with others representing Auburn students, faculty, staff and alumni.

"The Board will hold a special meeting soon to discuss the presidential transition at Iowa State". I'm sure this played a large part in Auburn's decision.

Other reports by CampDesrEcrues

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