Board supports Iowa State president after airplane scandal

Published: Dec. 12, 2016 at 10:16 AM CST
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The Latest on a special Iowa Board of Regents meeting to discuss Iowa State University President Steven Leath's use of university airplanes:

4:45 p.m.

The board that governs Iowa's public universities is letting Iowa State University President Steven Leath keep his job after he admitted mistakes in using university airplanes.

Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter is commending Leath for taking responsibility for problems identified in an audit of his use of planes.

Rastetter says that he's disappointed in the actions that required the audit and that "we can and must do better."

But Rastetter says Leath's apology and decision to refund an extra $19,100 in trips that were questionable shows that Leath "deserves our continued trust and support."

Rastetter spoke after the regents met for 90 minutes in a closed session to evaluate Leath.


2:30 p.m.

Iowa State University President Steven Leath has apologized and is paying back the school for several flights in which he used university airplanes for personal business.

Leath said Monday that he has reimbursed the university for his flight training. He said he can see how those flights would be considered a "personal benefit."

Leath says that he has also reimbursed the school for the costs of three trips to Minnesota for medical appointments in Rochester.

He says that he's also paid back costs related to taking his brother and sister-in-law to an NCAA basketball tournament game in a school plane in 2014.

Leath says he's sorry for not using better judgment. His comments came after the Iowa Board of Regents received an audit on his plane use.


9 a.m.

The Iowa Board of Regents is expected to decide whether to take action against Iowa State University President Steven Leath for his use of university airplanes.

During a special meeting Monday afternoon in Ankeny, the board is scheduled to receive the results of an audit that scrutinizes all flights Leath has taken during his five-year presidency.

Regents are then expected to go into closed session to evaluate Leath's job performance.

The board ordered the audit in October after The Associated Press revealed that Leath had been in an accident in a university plane he was piloting in 2015. Other trips on both school planes have since been questioned.

Board President Bruce Rastetter said in October that a number of trips appeared to be questionable, and that he was disappointed.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)