Iowa State President the third university president in the state - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa State President the third university president in the state to leave in two years.

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(KWWL) -

Iowa State President Steven Leath will be leaving his position to go to Auburn University.

Auburn trustees announcing Leath as the 19th President of the University on Monday.

This comes following recent replacements at both the University of Northern Iowa and University of Iowa presidents.

All three seeing rapid turnover the past few years.

State Senator Jeff Danielson says it points to the Board of Regents.

"But it begs the question, why are we continuing to have to do this? Unprecedented turnover, at three well-respected higher education institutions in a state that has a school house on its quarter, for crying out loud," said Senator Danielson.

Danielson continues to call for more transparency.

"How the Board of Regents conducts its business has put our presidents in a difficult position. President Leath probably felt insulated by the relationship with the Board of Regents. He should have never been in the position to bend the rules," said Danielson.

Danielson referring to the controversy surrounding Leath using the university's plane for private flights including trips to his North Carolina home.

President Leath has since paid the university back.

President Leath's announcement comes just months after the appointment of UNI President Mark Nook and a year and a half after the controversial appointment of Iowa President Bruce Herald.

President Herald was hired under a cloud of suspicion, that currently has the regents faces a lawsuit.  

President Nook had more transparent process leading to his selection; one both Senator Danielson and Representative Walt Rogers hopes continues during the replacement at Iowa State.

"I do see them continuing that format. I think because it did work well. Again, just focusing on transparency of the process and making sure everyone knows what is going on; getting input from all of the different stakeholders," said Representative Rogers.

Both Rogers and Danielson say the next Iowa State President needs to be someone with a vested interest and love for Iowa, who plans to stay for some time.

KWWL did reach out to our local members of the Iowa Board of Regents. 

Rachael Johnson of Cedar Falls gave KWWL this statement, "In regards to President Leath's departure, I would simply say that I truly appreciate all he has done for Iowa State University. He has had many great accomplishments throughout his time at Iowa State. I wish him and Janet the best at Auburn University."

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