One-on-One with Miles Lackey, President Leath’s chief of staff

Aimee Burch

Miles Lackey works closely with ISU President Steven Leath as the chief of staff. He recently spoke with the Daily about the move from North Carolina, his job duties and what he hopes to accomplish at Iowa State along with Leath.

You recently moved to Iowa from North Carolina. How are you liking it so far? What are some major differences you have noticed?

My wife [Tara] and I are really enjoying Ames; the transition has been extremely smooth. Everyone has been so friendly, warm and welcoming — we’re just really enjoying making new friends. As far as differences are concerned, there is a pervasive commitment on this campus, from the students, faculty and staff, to serve the people of Iowa. Cleary this is promoted by the land-grant roots of the university, and I’m just really excited to be a part of it.

How long have you known President Leath? How did you guys meet?

I’ve known President Leath for approximately five years. I met him while working for the University of North Carolina system.

What is your official job title? What are your duties in this position?

My working title is chief of staff — that’s what I go by. As the president’s chief of staff, I will work to ensure that many of the administrative functions of the university are coordinated in such a way that promotes the president’s goals and thereby advances Iowa State.

What are some goals you have for your tenure?

Bottom line: The president’s goals and priorities are my goals and priorities. That being said, the president is focused on making college more affordable and making Iowa State more efficient in the process. He also understands that Iowa State must continue to play a critical role in serving the state and promoting economic development.

What will students see you involved in? What kind of presence will you have on campus?

My wife and I are both very service oriented, and we’ll be looking to get involved in a number of volunteer opportunities here on campus. And I’m always happy to attend student organization meetings/events whenever I’m invited.

Why do you do what you do? What motivates you?

Like President Leath, I understand my role is one of public service. As a result, I will do all that I can do to make Iowa State as good as it can possibly be. The students are my main source of motivation. What I love about Iowa State is that we’re not just preparing young people for jobs — this institution builds character, develops leaders, and prepares students to go out into the world and make their mark. It truly is a special place.

If you had to do anything over again, what — if anything — would you change?

I regret not spending more time with my grandparents when they were alive. You will always think you have more time with loved ones than you actually do. I’m more aware of that these days and do my best to call each of my family members at least a couple times a week.

What do you do in your free time? Any favorite activities, music, movies, sports teams?

Free time, what free time? Just kidding. My wife and I are in the process of renovating our house — that consumes a lot of it. I also enjoy playing golf and occasionally shooting sporting clays.