Dr. Steven Leath

Auburn University President Steven Leath is departing from the university after two years. 

Leath and members of the Board of Trustees' presidential assessment working group mutually decided to part ways after extensive discussions about the university's leadership, according to a news release from Auburn University.

"Dr. Leath arrived with vision and enthusiasm to take Auburn to the next level," said Wayne T. Smith, president pro tempore of the university's board. "We're grateful for his dedication and commitment as Auburn made strides as a world-class public university. We wish Steve and Janet all the best."

Under Leath's leadership, Auburn earned the Carnegie R1 designation, placing it in the top 100 research universities in the nation. He initiated the Presidential Awards for Interdisciplinary Research and the Presidential Graduate Research Fellowships. The Auburn Research Park substantially grew with a new child care facility and plans for a new Innovation and Research Center and a health sciences facility operated by the East Alabama Medical Center.

"As I've said many times, serving as Auburn's president has been the highlight of my career," said Leath. "I'm confident we leave Auburn stronger than when we arrived."

Before coming to Auburn in 2017, Leath served as president of Iowa State University and vice president for research and sponsored programs for the University of North Carolina System. He held several positions at North Carolina State University and began his academic career at the University of Illinois, Urbana, as an extension plant pathologist.

The Auburn board will soon convene to name an interim president, according to Smith.

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