Lackey will leave Iowa State for Auburn

Maggie Curry

Just months after Steven Leath’s departure for Auburn University, another Iowa State administrator will follow. He will be accepting a chief of staff position beginning Jan. 2, 2018.

Miles Lackey was Leath’s chief of staff and chief financial officer at Iowa State for five and a half years. Lackey took the then-associate vice president position at Iowa State in April of 2012. Lackey told the Daily shortly after his hiring was announced that he had known Leath for five years prior. They met working for the North Carolina system.

Lackey had served as director of the office of federal affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Then-President Steven Leath had high regards for Lackey before he began at Iowa State, for both his management skills and impressive work history, and those regards seem to have stayed through their work since.

“Miles will help us greatly as we streamline operations and improve our efficiency,” Leath said in a release from Auburn. “He is an outstanding strategic thinker and planner, and I am very excited to have him on board as I begin my tenure here at Auburn.”

As chief of staff, Lackey will work with Leath to manage day-to-day operations in central administration. He will advise the President on major institutional decisions and will lead or serve on senior level, institution-wide committees, including the President’s Cabinet.

In addition, Lackey will oversee several Auburn administrative units, including the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity; the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy; the Office of Communications and Marketing; the Office of Governmental Affairs; the University Ombuds Office and the Office of Public Affairs.

Lackey explained his role at Iowa State to the Student Government in the fall of 2014 as being 20 percent hearing from the people who report to him, 80 percent “being whatever [sic] Leath happens to put on my plate that particular day.” Lackey also said at the time that the most important part of his job was “telling [Leath] the absolute truth, unpolished” and giving him “truly unbiased council.”

The advertisement for the opening in Auburn University’s Office of the President for a Chief of Staff was set to expire July 1. The employment advertisement listed the primary responsibility to “manage, facilitate, coordinate, and direct key functions and activities of the President’s Office” as a senior member of the President’s staff.

They will be representing “the perspectives of the President” in meetings involving senior management and to those outside the university. The posting listed qualifications as six to ten years of relevant experience working in a large public non-profit or government agency and/or a public research university in a leadership position of director or above.

The position will oversee the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, Executive Director of Governmental Affairs, Director of Public Affairs and the University Ombudsperson, among others, according to the ad posted at that time.