ISU president finalist for Auburn presidency

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State University President Steven Leath could be making a big announcement this coming week.

It's hard to say what Dr. Leath's appointment may mean for Athletics. Though I'd also like to think our crowd here also finds the academic side of the University to be even more important - as much as we love the sports.

"It is apparent how student-focused you are". The voice vote was unanimous. "At the same time, we're going to push forward".

Leath had led a five-year growth spurt at ISU, which overtook the University of Iowa as the state's largest university, with 36,660 students (Auburn, another land grant school, is about 28,000). "Our alumni remain forever true to this university - as Iowa State remains forever true to the principles of innovation, diversity and accessibility on which it was founded".

Among other stops with his previous experience was a prominent role as vice president of research at the University of North Carolina.

Leath comes to Auburn from Iowa State, where he had been since 2012.

But Leath has struggled to get state lawmakers on board with more funding to support the growing student body.

He worked in several research and teaching positions at North Carolina State before becoming vice president for research at the University of North Carolina in 2007, his only position at a non-land grant university. He received degrees in plant science and plant pathology from Penn State University, the University of DE and the University of IL.

The regents said board staff and university administrators, moving forward, will work to create clearer policies and will review if ISU's Flight Services are in the best interest of the university through a comprehensive review now in progress.

When inaugurated, Leath said he believed in the future of public universities, the branding of Iowa State and the value of a Cyclone education.

"Auburn is a very special place", Leath said. The search for the new leader at Auburn is now underway, according to Auburn's website. Teeter is a professor of forest economics and immediate past chair of the university senate.

"This is a great day for Auburn", said trustee Raymond Harbert, who chaired the 14-member presidential search committee.

"The contribution Jay and Susie Gogue made to Auburn is immeasurable", said Charles McCrary, president pro tem of the Auburn Board.

He promised to work with faculty in the spirit of collaboration and shared governance, and said to students that they will "always be first". "I am proud of the many accomplishments that we achieved in economic development and community engagement".

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