Iowa State University President Steven Leath is about to hit the five-year mark in the office, which comes with a high-back hot seat. Leath has seen a fine stretch of economic development work, new facilities at the expanding ISU Research Park, the expansion of Jack Trice Stadium, and the addition of new majors designed to meet businesses' needs. But he's also suffered through public relations nightmares that included ending Veishea, defending his use of university planes, and signs of tensions on campus based on race and sexual orientation.

In case you missed it, here's our story based on an hourlong interview with Leath in his Beardshear Hall office:

To say it's been a wild ride lately for Iowa State University President Steven Leath doesn't seem strong enough.

Here's a guy who celebrates his fifth anniversary on the job in January and is beaming over the university's status as the state's largest public university (after overtaking the University of Iowa years ago), sharp enrollment gains in the College of Engineering and elsewhere, a growing and modernized research park, new approaches to working with businesses, an expanded football stadium, a growing group of National Academy members, and a huge jump in research cash.

But he's also fighting through a gale force of public relations nightmares over his previous piloting of planes that were damaged in hard landings, over a land purchase that involved consulting with his boss, Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter, and over episodes of racial and sexual orientation discrimination on campus.

We sat down with Leath for an hour to discuss his review of ISU's performance since he took his first job as a university president in January 2012, and to learn about his plans for the future.

We learned that Leath considers himself on solid footing with the Board of Regents and has no plans to leave ISU. He told us he doesn't consider the former AIB campus good enough to house the graduate programs ISU wants to offer in Des Moines, and he sees no reason to offer a lot of undergraduate programs when the main campus is 30 miles away.

Continue reading to get Leath's take on ISU's growth, programs for businesses, facilities expansions and, yes, the controversies. Full Insider story >>>
 


* To read this story, and other members-only content, become a Business Record Insider today. BECOME AN INSIDER >>> * Already get the weekly print product? Then you're already an Insider and entitled to member benefits. ACTIVATE ACCOUNT >>>

Iowa State University President Steven Leath is about to hit the five-year mark in the office, which comes with a high-back hot seat. Leath has seen a fine stretch of economic development work, new facilities at the expanding ISU Research Park, the expansion of Jack Trice Stadium, and the addition of new majors designed to meet businesses' needs. But he's also suffered through public relations nightmares that included ending Veishea, defending his use of university planes, and signs of tensions on campus based on race and sexual orientation.

In case you missed it, here's our story based on an hourlong interview with Leath in his Beardshear Hall office:

To say it's been a wild ride lately for Iowa State University President Steven Leath doesn't seem strong enough.

Here's a guy who celebrates his fifth anniversary on the job in January and is beaming over the university's status as the state's largest public university (after overtaking the University of Iowa years ago), sharp enrollment gains in the College of Engineering and elsewhere, a growing and modernized research park, new approaches to working with businesses, an expanded football stadium, a growing group of National Academy members, and a huge jump in research cash.

But he's also fighting through a gale force of public relations nightmares over his previous piloting of planes that were damaged in hard landings, over a land purchase that involved consulting with his boss, Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter, and over episodes of racial and sexual orientation discrimination on campus.

We sat down with Leath for an hour to discuss his review of ISU's performance since he took his first job as a university president in January 2012, and to learn about his plans for the future.

We learned that Leath considers himself on solid footing with the Board of Regents and has no plans to leave ISU. He told us he doesn't consider the former AIB campus good enough to house the graduate programs ISU wants to offer in Des Moines, and he sees no reason to offer a lot of undergraduate programs when the main campus is 30 miles away.

Continue reading to get Leath's take on ISU's growth, programs for businesses, facilities expansions and, yes, the controversies. Full Insider story >>>
 


* To read this story, and other members-only content, become a Business Record Insider today. BECOME AN INSIDER >>> * Already get the weekly print product? Then you're already an Insider and entitled to member benefits. ACTIVATE ACCOUNT >>>