Iowa State's Steven Leath selected as new Auburn University president

President Steven Leath's departure will leave Iowa State University seeking a new leader as it faces budget cuts, enrollment growth and fallout from controversies.

The official pick will be announced at a Monday morning press conference in Alabama.

Leath has served as Iowa State's president since 2012, and previously served as vice president for research at the University of North Carolina. The two-time Auburn graduate is known for engaging with students, supporting faculty and creating a strong university partnership with the local community.

"To the trustees, I appreciate your trust and confidence", Leath said in the meeting after asked if he'd like to speak.

Auburn University now serves more than 28,000 students, according to it's website, and the Montgomery campus serves about 5,000 students. After stepping down as president later this year, he will remain at Auburn teaching a higher education administration course and conducting special projects. "If he has land-grant experience, he will know who we are". "We're a unique university, and he would need to know who we are".

Leath also appointed Jim Kurtenbach, former Republican lawmaker, to the more than $250,000 salaried position of interim chief information officer without a search around the same time Kurtenbach gave Leath personal flight lessons, according to the same report. He has now reimbursed the university for the flights.

A 14-member search committee began looking for the next president last September after Gouge announced he would retire.

  • Larry Hoffman