Steven Leath is having a Midwestern homecoming of sorts as he begins his new venture as the 15th president of Iowa State University. The 54-year-old Leath, who spent some of his youth in St. Paul, Minn., takes over at Iowa State from the University of North Carolina, where he was vice president of research. Leath says his biggest priority is making ISU more affordable for students. Leath told The Ames Tribune that while "nothing is broken" at Iowa State, finding ways for students to graduate with less debt is at the top of his to-do list. Leath also wants to increase the flow of research money, and at a state level, he plans to campaign for a proposed $18 million budget request from the Iowa Board of Regents.