The Iowa State president could soon be leaving for the same position at another university.
A former board of trustees member told the Opelika-Auburn News that Leath's background would be attractive to the university's search committee.
Steven Leath is named president of Auburn University in the Student Center Ballroom on Monday, March 20, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.
Leath became Iowa State's president in 2012 after five years as vice president for research at the University of North Carolina. But he also faced controversies over racism and sexual assaults on campus, the end of the long-time, violence-marred VEISHEA festival, his use of university planes and the land deal for his retirement home, which was aided by his boss on the Board of Regents.
The Board of Trustees voted on the new president today after announcing its meeting only four days ago.
Leath reimbursed ISU for the cost of 52 training flights, as well as for costs associated with several out-of-state trips. An Iowa State University spokeswoman said Saturday afternoon she doesn't know more than what was written in the report.
"Janet and I have made lifelong friends here in Iowa and have had many great experiences", Leath said in the statement.
President Leath holds a B.S.in plant science from Pennsylvania State University, M.S.in plant science from the University of DE, and Ph.D.in plant pathology from the University of IL.
I leave with a promise fulfilled, and that was to leave the university better than I inherited it.
Charles McCrary Chairman pro tem said the official action of voting for Leath took place in the Student Center to symbolize the President's dedication to serving students. 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.
I have volunteered to work closely with the Regents to identify an interim president and start a search for a permanent president.