Auburn names Steven Leath new university president


Iowa State University President Steven Leath will be retiring his cardinal and gold for blue and orange when he becomes the new president of Auburn University on July 15.

Auburn University’s board of trustees on Monday unanimously selected Leath for the position as the university’s 19th president following a six-month national search. Leath replaces Jay Gogue, who announced his retirement in September.

“This is a great day for Auburn,” said trustee Raymond Harbert, who chaired the 14-member presidential search committee. “Dr. Leath is a strategic leader who will work alongside the campus community and alumni to elevate Auburn to the next level in instruction, research and outreach.”

Leath served as Iowa State’s president since 2012. While president, Iowa State achieved its highest student graduation rate, lowered student debt, grew research expenditures, set fundraising records and secured the university’s largest private gift for an academic facility. Prior to that he served as vice president for research at the University of North Carolina.

“We found an accomplished leader through an inclusive search process with all campus constituencies represented,” said Larry Teeter, professor of forest economics and immediate past chair of the university senate. Teeter served on the presidential search committee along with others representing Auburn students, faculty, staff and alumni.

In an email to the Iowa State community, Leath announced his resignation as president of the Iowa State to “pursue an outstanding opportunity at Auburn University.” Calling it his “destiny” to lead “one of the nation’s great Land-grant universities to even greater prominence.”