The president of Iowa State University, Steven Leath, is leaving that school to become president at Auburn University.
He will be Auburn’s 19th president.
According to a report on the school’s website, the university’s board of trustees Monday unanimously selected Leath after a six-month national search.
Leath, who is replacing Jay Gogue, starts July 15.
“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.”
The report says that since 2012, Leath has led Iowa State, one of the nation’s top research institutions with an international reputation in science and technology. 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.
Leath began his career as a plant pathologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana. 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. He received degrees in plant science and plant pathology from Penn State University, the University of Delaware and the University of Illinois.
In the report, Larry Teeter, professor of forest economics and immediate past chair of the university senate, said, “We found an accomplished leader through an inclusive search process with all campus constituencies represented.”
Gogue has held Auburn’s top position since July 2007.