MADISON, Wis.—Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman and UW System Board of Regents President Karen Walsh issued the following statements today regarding the Board of Regents’ unanimous decision to terminate UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow.
Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman:
“Upon my recommendation, the UW Board of Regents today terminated Dr. Joe Gow from his position as chancellor of UW-La Crosse effective immediately. In recent days, we learned of specific conduct by Dr. Gow that has subjected the university to significant reputational harm. His actions were abhorrent.
“As a tenured faculty member, Dr. Gow will be placed on paid administrative leave as he transitions into his faculty role at UW-La Crosse. However, I have filed a complaint this evening with interim Chancellor Betsy Morgan regarding Dr. Gow’s status as a tenured faculty member, asking that such status be reviewed. In addition, an outside law firm has been engaged to undertake a fulsome investigation of the matter. We anticipate the complaint will be considered in the normal course as dictated by Wis. Admin. Code Ch. 4.”
UW System Regent President Karen Walsh:
“This Board is charged with the stewardship of our great Universities of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Dr. Joe Gow has shown a reckless disregard for the role he was entrusted with at UW-La Crosse to serve students, faculty and staff, and the campus community. The outrage over his behavior is evidenced by the unanimous vote by the UW Board of Regents to terminate him as chancellor. We are alarmed, and disgusted, by his actions, which were wholly and undeniably inconsistent with his role as chancellor.”
The Universities of Wisconsin serve more than 162,500 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the universities are Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state Universities of Wisconsin graduates stay in the state five years after earning a degree. The universities provide a 23:1 return on state investment. The Universities of Wisconsin also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.