Leath to reorganize business, financial operations

President Steven Leath will reorganize Iowa State's business and financial operations this summer, when longtime senior vice president for business and finance Warren Madden retires. Leath also is making several other changes in reporting structures and position titles.

In a letter to ISU faculty, staff and students today, Leath said he will split the senior VP for business and finance office, which "has become a very large, diverse and complex office," into two divisions -- the division of university services and the division of finance.

Leath said his decision aligns with preliminary recommendations from the Faculty Senate, which coincidentally is conducting its five-year review of the business and finance office, and is based on input from Iowa State's senior vice presidents, the Iowa Board of Regents, alumni and business leaders.

Miles Lackey will retain his current post as the president's chief of staff and, effective July 1, assume the new role of chief financial officer, leading the division of finance.

Division of finance

The division of finance will include these units:

  • Associate vice president for business and finance and university secretary
  • Financial planning and budgets
  • Treasurer

Chief of staff

The chief of staff will oversee these units:

  • University relations
  • Ombuds office
  • Internal audit

Division of university services

The search soon will begin for the senior vice president for university services. The new division will comprise these units:

  • Facilities planning and management
  • Business services
  • Environmental health and safety
  • Public safety
  • Reiman Gardens
  • University Museums
  • WOI radio group

The new division is slated to go into operation on July 1. If a new senior VP for university services hasn't been selected by then, Lackey will serve as interim senior vice president for business and finance.

Other changes

Leath also announced several units and positions that currently report to the chief of staff will be moved to other offices as a result of the additional responsibilities of the new chief of staff/chief financial officer position:

  • The director of equal opportunity will report to the vice president for diversity and inclusion, effective April 25
  • The office of university marketing will report to the office of university relations, effective July 1
  • The state relations officer will assume the role of government relations officer, overseeing both state and federal relations, effective July 1

In other changes:

  • The ISU Research Park will report to the office of economic development and industry relations, effective July 1
  • Jim Kurtenbach will become chief information officer (he's currently interim CIO) on July 1. Kurtenbach will report to the office of the president while the university implements the new enterprise resource planning and student information systems.

Madden completes his 32-year tenure as vice president for business and finance this summer. In his emeritus role, he will assist the university with real estate transactions.

Leath: Changes will yield more efficiency

"I am confident these changes will allow us to become even more efficient and transparent as we strive to capture and invest maximum resources in our core academic mission," Leath said. "I appreciate the university community’s flexibility, and I look forward to the ways in which this will enhance Iowa State’s business and financial operations and strengthen the university as a whole."

Student affairs review

Leath has commissioned a report on enhancing the overall student experience from former VP for student affairs Tom Hill, who is serving in a short-term role as senior policy adviser. Leath said after the report is received, he will work with new senior VP for student affairs Martino Harmon to determine if organizational changes are needed in student affairs.