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New President - Dr. Steven Leath

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The New President of Auburn University is Dr. Steven Leath

 

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About President Leath

Dr. Steven Leath became the 15th president of Iowa State University in January 2012. He leads a university that educates more than 36,000 students, employs 6,300 faculty and staff, and belongs to the Association of American Universities (AAU).

President Leath’s dynamic agenda is raising Iowa State’s status as one of the top land-grant institutions in the country by enhancing efforts associated with the university’s mission of education, research, and service. 

Strategic initiatives

President Leath is leading ISU in strategic initiatives to:

  1. Maintain and improve the high quality student educational experience that the university is known for,
  2. Strengthen the university's scholarly reputation,
  3. Broaden its research enterprise,
  4. Expand its economic development programs and activities for the state of Iowa, and
  5. Increase diversity among students, faculty, and staff.

He also has placed major emphasis on enhancing the university's nationally recognized 1,700-acre central campus and its public art collection, which is one of the largest among U.S. public universities.

Memberships and boards

A member of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), President Leath also serves on the Board of Directors of the University Innovation Alliance, a group of 11 public research universities aimed at making degrees more attainable for students with financial needs; the IFDC, an international soil fertility and agricultural development center; the Greater Des Moines Partnership; and Bankers Trust. He is also a member of the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors and serves as the Big 12 representative on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. 

President Leath is founding co-chair of the Cultivation Corridor regional economic development initiative; and he is a member of the executive committee of the Iowa STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Advisory Council, the World Food Prize Council of Advisors, the Qassim University International Advisory Board, and the Iowa Business Council. He is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Crop Science Society of America, American Phytopathological Society, Sigma Xi research honor society, Cardinal Key Honor Society, and Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.

Education

President Leath holds a B.S. in plant science from Pennsylvania State University, M.S. in plant science from the University of Delaware, and Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Illinois.

Positions, projects, research

He spent one year as an Extension Plant Pathologist in Illinois before joining the faculty of North Carolina State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as a plant pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) unit based at NC State. He focused on disease control and genetics of disease resistance in cereal crops. In 1998, he was named professor and research leader of the unit, then spent time as acting national grain crops program leader for the USDA-ARS in Washington, DC. He returned to NC State in 2001 as a professor and assistant director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (NCARS), was promoted to associate director in 2003, and was named NCARS director and associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2005.

From 2007 to 2012, Leath was Vice President for Research for the University of North Carolina (UNC) General Administration, where he oversaw $1.4 billion in competitive research grants and contracts and promoted research and sponsored programs across the full spectrum of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary activities carried out by UNC's 16 university campuses. He also oversaw UNC's inter-institutional centers and was one of the leaders in such highly successful public-private partnerships as the North Carolina Research Campus and the David H. Murdock Research Institute, which he helped establish and led as chief executive officer. He also had active roles in the North Carolina State University Centennial Campus and the Research Triangle Park.

During his research career, Leath published nearly 100 scientific articles in plant disease resistance, plant pathology, plant breeding, and related fields.

Family and interests

President Leath is a pilot and an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys bird hunting, bow hunting, and is a member of the Boone and Crockett Club. His family owns and manages a Christmas tree farm in Ashe County, North Carolina. He and his wife Janet have two adult sons, Eric and Scott and two dogs, Dixie and Quill.

BIO

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Sounds like a little bit of an outdoorsman, Not something you generally see in upper echelon academia. I like it.

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Glad to see that one of the top initiatives at ISU was to increase diversity in all areas.  With his PhD in plant pathology, he may be able to provide serious input on our tree situation too.

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1) Whats our love fest with Iowa State?

2) Sounds like we need to teach him how to fly again before giving him access to the jet!

3) I do like the fact he is a land grant guy, but how much of his "Stategic Initiative" did he accomplish at ISU?

Edited by AlaskanFAN
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8 minutes ago, keesler said:

Glad to see that one of the top initiatives at ISU was to increase diversity in all areas.  With his PhD in plant pathology, he may be able to provide serious input on our tree situation too.

Jay Gogue has been setting the foundation for an increase in diversity across all areas over the last four years. Dr. Leath will have a good start to build off of.

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2 hours ago, keesler said:

Glad to see that one of the top initiatives at ISU was to increase diversity in all areas.  With his PhD in plant pathology, he may be able to provide serious input on our tree situation too.

Unfortunately I don't think drunken idiots and vindictive morons are covered in the study of pathology.

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23 minutes ago, JBiGGiE said:

Unfortunately I don't think drunken idiots and vindictive morons are covered in the study of pathology.

True, but if he can bring something to the table to at least stop the on-going bleeding of finances that's been spent on the half dozen replacements AU seems to encounter annually then that's a plus in my book.  I mean, a man that has published nearly 100 scientific articles in plant disease resistance, plant pathology, plant breeding, etc. may be able to contribute some valuable knowledge on how to get a couple of massive oaks to flourish and grow in the South. (fingers crossed)

Edited by keesler

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3 hours ago, keesler said:

Glad to see that one of the top initiatives at ISU was to increase diversity in all areas.  With his PhD in plant pathology, he may be able to provide serious input on our tree situation too.

Yeah, it's called keep anyone wearing crimson away from Toomers Corner!

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54 minutes ago, JBiGGiE said:

Unfortunately I don't think drunken idiots and vindictive morons are covered in the study of pathology.

It's funny because it's true!

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This could be a very big get for the University.  Being a VP in the UNC system is no small thing considering their academic requirements.  Also, ISU is also a member of the AAU accreted schools.  This accreditation is highly sought after and very prestigious.  To give you an idea, there are only four AAU schools in the SEC (Mizzou, A&M, Florida, & Vandy).  The below link has a list of other schools that are AAU accredited and it's dang impressive.  If Auburn were able to get this distinction one day, our academic profile would rise significantly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_American_Universities

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But we're an Under Armpit school...how do we get AAU accreditation???

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I don't think our director of NCAA compliance lets the basketball program recruit from the AAU either.  :rollin:

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WDE Dr.  Leath

Welcome home

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6 hours ago, AlaskanFAN said:

2) Sounds like we need to teach him how to fly again before giving him access to the jet!

This is funny, I think I read he approved $3 million in repairs for multiple ISU planes, one of which he wrecked?  Also tried to get away with taking private flying lessons in one of the university planes.  He may be just crazy enough to be a good dude.  The only crazy Gogue has in him is his complete lack of concern for any Auburn athletic program. 

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3 minutes ago, PowerOfDixieland said:

This is funny, I think I read he approved $3 million in repairs for multiple ISU planes, one of which he wrecked?  Also tried to get away with taking private flying lessons in one of the university planes.  He may be just crazy enough to be a good dude.  The only crazy Gogue has in him is his complete lack of concern for any Auburn athletic program. 

Only if you believe the "media" reports.  He had permission from the BOT of the University to use the university plane.     This is yet another example of believing everything being printed without researching it.

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Three biggies in this hire.

1. Land grant university -- that's a plus, but not really a ticket

2. AAU member and board/leadership of various national academic/research organizations

3. A scholar/researcher himself, not just a career administrator.

And personally, any PhD from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign gets extra points because a major research institution.

Looks to me like Auburn really wants to up its game academically.


 

Edited by AURex
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Sounds like a good hire to me. I hope he's a big football fan and he keeps his eyes and ears open to everything that's going on.

Edited by auburn4ever
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13 minutes ago, AURex said:

Three biggies in this hire.

1. Land grant university -- that's a plus, but not really a ticket

2. AAU member and board/leadership of various national academic/research organizations

3. A scholar/researcher himself, not just a career administrator.

And personally, any PhD from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign gets extra points because a major research institution.

Looks to me like Auburn really wants to up its game academically.


 

Plus he hunt with a bow

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37 minutes ago, augolf1716 said:

Plus he hunt with a bow

I assumed you were more of a fan of birdshot, but you are old, i guess.

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8 hours ago, keesler said:

Glad to see that one of the top initiatives at ISU was to increase diversity in all areas.  With his PhD in plant pathology, he may be able to provide serious input on our tree situation too.

Not pathological. More a situation of proper maintenance and understand how to transplant something this large. Not the fault of Landscape Services either. Maybe this last transplanting will work. Lots of wasted $$.

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59 minutes ago, augolf1716 said:

Plus he hunt with a bow

Sounds like he and Coach Dye will be big buddies. Does he enjoy good scotch and bourbon?

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Shoot, I thought we might go after some really top  NFL coach like Belichik to take the job with instructions  get the football program to a higher level.

But, I guess if Auburn is supposed to be primarily  an educational institution , this guy seems especially well suited for our university . Looks like a good selection.

Edited by AU64
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