Iowa State President Steven Leath to serve on NCAA board

ISU fills two top posts

Iowa State University President Steven Leath speaks during a Gazette editorial board meeting at the Gazette and KCRG building in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, March 04, 2015. (Michael Noble Jr./The Gazette)
Iowa State University President Steven Leath speaks during a Gazette editorial board meeting at the Gazette and KCRG building in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, March 04, 2015. (Michael Noble Jr./The Gazette)

Iowa State University President Steven Leath next week will start a four-year term representing the Big 12 Conference on the NCAA Division I board of directors.

His stint on the National Collegiate Athletic Association board will begin June 1.

Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference commissioner and former University of Iowa athletic director, praised Leath for his willingness to serve.

“His understanding of the dynamics of intercollegiate athletics within the context of higher education and engagement on addressing its challenges will be amplified in this leadership position,” Bowlsby said in a statement.

New ISU leaders

On the Iowa State campus, Leath on Monday filled two top university posts.

Kate Gregory was named senior vice president for university services — taking over some of the duties of recently retired Senior Vice President for Business and Finance Warren Madden, who started with the university 50 years ago.

Leath named Michael Norton, a Husch Blackwell attorney, university counsel. The Board of Regents will be asked to approve both appointments at its June meeting, and Gregory and Norton are scheduled to start at Iowa State on July 11.

“They emerged from two very strong candidate pools,” Leath said in a statement. “Their expertise and experience are well-suited to these key university positions.”

Gregory is Iowa State’s first senior vice president for university services — a position created as part of the reorganization of ISU’s senior vice president for business and finance office following Madden’s retirement.

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In the new role, Gregory will oversee seven units including facilities planning and management, business services, environmental health and safety, public safety, Reiman Gardens, University Museums, and WOI radio group.

She serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and was chief of civil engineers and commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Washington, D.C. from 2012 to 2015.

She previously served as commander at that entity’s pacific facilities, as force civil engineer for the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, and in various other assignments throughout the United States, Italy, and Japan.

She has a bachelor’s degree in general engineering form the U.S. Naval Academy and two master’s degrees in systems management from University of Southern California and construction management from George Washington University.

In Norton’s role leading the ISU Office of University Counsel, he will serve as legal adviser to the university and its units — succeeding Paul Tanaka, who retired earlier this month.

Norton has been a partner in the industry-focused law firm Husch Blackwell in Kansas City since 2004 and has led the firm’s higher education practice group. He previously spent six years as senior assicate with Jones Day in Dallas and has “extensive experience” in areas important to the university, including Title IX compliance, employment law, data protection, policy development, and training.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah and a doctoral degree from Drake University in Des Moines.

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