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Steven Leath in Place as Iowa State University President

Steven Leath became Iowa State University's 15th president on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012.

Leath has been vice president for research and sponsored programs for the University of North Carolina system since 2007. He has also served as interim vice president for academic planning. At North Carolina State, he held several positions, including associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the NC Agricultural Research Service. He also was a research leader and plant pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service; and an extension plant pathologist at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Leath helped develop the North Carolina Research Campus, a private-public venture that fosters advancements in biotechnology, nutrition and health.

He received three plant sciences degrees — a bachelor’s (1979) from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park; a master’s (1981) from the University of Delaware, Newark; and a doctorate in plant pathology (1984) from the University of Illinois.

"I'm excited to be your new president and I promise to work tirelessly to become the citizen and servant you all expect me to be," Leath said in September when he was introduced as Iowa State's next president. "I will need your help, and I look forward to participating in the robust shared governance process that's so in place at Iowa State University.

"I look forward to serving, and I'm proud to be a Cyclone," he said.

Leath said his first priority will be to get to know people — faculty, staff, students, alumni and "the whole family" well.

"I'll be trying to balance the time I spend on campus, learning the campus and learning the priorities of the folks on campus, as well as going out in the state meeting our supporters there. It will be a busy start," he said.

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