ISU's Leath explains change of heart, decision to take Auburn job


University trustees are set to vote on a new president of Auburn University today.

But shortly after the Auburn trustees voted to hire him Monday morning, Leath and his wife, Janet, issued a letter to the ISU community indicating, "We now realize our destiny is in Alabama and leading one of the nation's great land-grant universities to even greater prominence".

Current University President Jay Gogue, a native of Waycross, Georgia and an Auburn graduate, plans to retire this summer.

Leath has recently been under fire for his use of university aircraft at Iowa State.

"The Board will hold a special meeting soon to discuss the presidential transition at Iowa State". He has earned degrees in plant science and plant pathology from Pennsylvania State University, the University of DE and the University of IL.

Lawmakers have cut millions from Iowa State's budget in recent months. He spent much of his career in North Carolina, serving as vice president for research at the University of North Carolina System prior to his selection at Iowa State.

Leath has been a president with a strong fundraising drive - launching a "quiet phase" of the campaign in 2012. "I raised more money than any president in Iowa State history". "I am proud of the many accomplishments that we achieved in economic development and community engagement".

"I work hard", Leath said.

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.

"I understand that is very sad and disappointing for most of us to see a 92-year-old tradition come to an end", Leath said during the press conference. Our appreciation for the Cyclone family is beyond words, and we found this extended family of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to be the greatest joy of our time at Iowa State.