Outgoing eastern Iowa Congressman Jim Leach says it is “likely” his next career will be in academia. “I think I’d feel most comfortable at a university setting at this time,” Leach says.

Leach, a Republican who has served 30 years in congress, lost his bid for a 16th term in office this November. A number of universities and colleges — including Harvard, Boston University, Georgetown, Princeton and the University of Iowa — have offered Leach posts as a professor.

Becoming the University of Iowa’s next president doesn’t appear in the cards. “I think that’s highly unlikely,” Leach says. “The university has set up a criteria. They want someone with an academic administrative background, particularly one — if they can — in the health care arena.”

Leach doesn’t want to “take time off,” so when his term as a congressman comes to an end in January, he wants to start a new job immediately afterwards. Leach says he wants to teach the “next generation. Leach also plans to write some books. “I think that government needs perspective right now and this is an important kind of thing to try to do,” Leach says.

Leach made his comments during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press,” which airs tonight at 7:30.