The Auburn University Board of Trustees named Iowa State's Steven Leath as the university's 19th president after a vote during a special meeting at the Student Center on campus today.
A former board of trustees member told the Opelika-Auburn News that Leath's background would be attractive to the university's search committee.
Iowa State University's website indicates Leath became president of the university in January of 2012.
As he told the Business Record in an interview previous year, 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.
"The Board will hold a special meeting soon to discuss the presidential transition at Iowa State". Leath has reimbursed the university for those flights, according to AP. Leath also has championed a high-quality student experience and diversity among students, faculty and staff.
Leath pledged to work closely with the Iowa Board of Regents to identify an interim president and begin a search for his permanent successor at Iowa State.
"I don't walk up to you and say, 'Hi, I'm Steve Leath, I'm from Iowa State". While president, the university achieved its highest students graduation rate, lowered student debt, grew research expenditures, set fundraising records and secured the university's largest private gift for an academic facility.
Leath takes over as Auburn's president on July 15h.
Dubbed the Cultivation Corridor, Leath and other Iowa businesses have worked to create growth in agbioscience, biorenewables, biotech and advanced manufacturing industries throughout the I-35 interstate.
In a letter to the Iowa State community announcing his resignation, he mentioned the land purchased saying, "In fact, it was not long ago we bought a farm here and expected to retire here". "We're a unique university, and he would need to know who we are".