Steven Leath mug

President Steven Leath capped his career at Iowa State at five years as he moved on to become president of Auburn University. Leath had been hired on a five-year contract at Auburn, it lasted two.

Ex-Iowa State President Steven Leath is now also the ex-president of Auburn University.

His departure was announced in a news release Friday, which said the Auburn Board of Trustees and Leath had “mutually decided to part ways."

“As I’ve said many times, serving as Auburn’s president has been the highlight of my career,” Leath said in the news release. “I’m confident we leave Auburn stronger than when we arrived.”

The president pro tempore of the university’s board said they were grateful for Leath’s dedication and commitment, according to the news release.

Auburn University had hired Leath on a five-year contract in 2017 with an annual salary of $625,000, nearly $100,000 more per year than he had earned at Iowa State, The Gazette reported in 2017.

Leath had a rocky tenure at Iowa State, facing controversy for his use of university owned aircraft for personal travel and leisure.

On the negative coverage that brought, Leath told the Daily in an interview in 2016 he regretted the “negative image” it brought to the university.

Leath reimbursed the university for the use of the aircraft, one of which he damaged in a hard landing — resulting in $12,000 in damages.

The news release did not give a reason why the board and Leath had decided to "part ways."

The Auburn University Board will convene “soon” to name an interim president, according to the board president pro tempore.

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