Steven Leath, UNC-system vice president for research, has been named the 15th president of Iowa State University.
The Iowa Board of Regents chose Leath on Tuesday evening over the other presidential finalist, University of Kentucky Provost Kumble Subbaswamy, according to a press release from ISU.
Leath and fellow candidates underwent an evaluation process headed by an 18-member search committee at ISU composed mainly of university faculty, students and alumni.
Roger Underwood, co-chairman of the committee and an ISU alumnus, said Leath and Subbaswamy were selected from an initial pool of 134 nominees and applicants for the position.
Gregory Geoffroy, the current ISU president, announced in March that he would step down for personal reasons. The search committee began looking for potential replacements in June.
“We thought Leath was a bold thinker, and he appeared to be someone who had a ‘get it done’ attitude,” Underwood said.
Since 2007, Leath, who holds a degree in plant pathology, has been responsible for helping to develop programs on UNC campuses with the goal of attracting federal funds in the form of research grants and contracts.
Joni Worthington, UNC-system vice president for communications, said if Leath takes the position, the system president will appoint an internal search committee to look for his replacement.
If Leath accepts the offer, he will assume the position Feb. 1 and will earn an annual salary of $440,00, according to the press release.
Courtney Thornton, research director for the UNC system, said working alongside Leath has been an excellent experience.
“It will be a big void to fill for sure,” she said. “He’s a great leader, and he has vast experience in research administration.”
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