ISU President Apologizes for Use of Aircraft; Regents Pledge Support

Dec 12, 2016

Iowa’s Board of Regents is vowing to clarify travel policies at the three state universities, and Iowa State University may be closing its flight service.

Those are some of the results of an audit of Iowa State University President Steve Leath’s use of university aircraft for business and personal use.

After a closed session with Leath this afternoon in which the board reviewed an audit report of all flights in university-owned aircraft, Regents President Bruce Rastetter reaffirmed the board’s support for Leath.

“Clearly, President Leath’s acknowledgement that he takes full responsibility for the issues identified in the audit,” he said, “And that he should have been more transparent about the use of the planes, reassures this board, and I hope all Iowans, that the president deserves our continued trust and support.”

Before the regents went into closed session to discuss the audit, Leath addressed the board on his use of ISU aircraft and saying ISU was determining whether to continue its Flight Service. 

“I understand why there have been many questions and concerns about my use of university aircraft," Leath said. "I take full responsibility for that. I realize that I used planes more frequently than I absolutely had to, and I should have been more transparent about some of the use. Moving forward, you’ll find me more thoughtful and I’ll work to ensure that anytime university planes are used it’s the very best interests of Iowa State.”

Leath says ISU is selling the Cirrus aircraft that was slightly damaged in a crosswind landing, and that he has written checks to the ISU Foundation totaling more than $19,000 to reimburse the questionable flights.