UPDATE 12/28/23 – Former Chancellor Gow joined Wisconsin’s Morning News Thursday morning to respond to his firing. Gow said he is considering possible litigation.
“I’m very concerned that there was no due process around this, and what that entails is having a hearing, and I get to know what I’m charged with and then I get to reply and make my case. That never happened. Certainly I’m very concerned about that and will look into my legal options.”
MADISON, Wis. – The UW System Board of Regents unanimously voted Wednesday evening to remove UW – La Crosse Chancellor Dr. Joe Gow.
In a statement, Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman said he and the Board of Regents had recently learned of conduct by Dr. Gow that “subjected the university to significant reputational harm.”
The vote comes shortly after Dr. Gow was found in pornographic videos he had made with his wife. Per reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dr. Gow and his wife used a social media account with the moniker “Sexy Happy Couple.” The two used pseudonyms to publish books describing their experiences creating pornographic videos.
Rothman said Dr. Gow will be placed on paid administrative leave while he transitions into a faculty role at UW – LaCrosse, but Rothman says he has asked Interim Chancellor Betsy Morgan to review that status.
UW System Regent President Karen Walsh released the following statement on the firing:
“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.”Karen Walsh
Dr. Gow has served as the Chancellor of UW-La Crosse since 2007, the longest tenure of any current UW chancellors. Earlier this year, Dr. Gow announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2023-24 school.
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