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Interim UW-La Crosse chancellor Morgan summed up her reaction to Gow firing quoting Charlie Berens: ‘Oh, geez.’



FILE: Interim chancellor Betsy Morgan of UW-La Crosse (PHOTO: UWL)

UW-La Crosse is starting 2024 with a different person in charge than when the campus closed for Christmas.


The sudden firing of Chancellor Joe Gow at the end of December elevated provost Betsy Morgan to the position of interim chancellor.

On Wednesday, Morgan welcomed faculty members back to campus for spring classes, saying that, like other people, she had been surprised to learn that Gow was dismissed for making porn.

She summed up her reaction with a quote from comedian Charlie Berens: “Oh, geez.”

Morgan said the controversy is starting to fade in the media and elsewhere.

“The jokes will die down,” she told university staffers and others at a student union meeting Wednesday. “That hasn’t quite happened yet.”

Morgan added that Gow will not be teaching at UW-L this semester.

Gow had planned to step down as chancellor this year and resume teaching. He does have tenure.

Morgan has been with the university for 30 years and said it was an easy decision when she was asked to serve as acting chancellor.

“I do love the people here, ” she said. “I know the university. It was just the obvious step, right? And I’m happy to provide the stability and take us into the future.”

Candidates for the chancellor’s job are being screened now, and finalists are expected to visit La Crosse before spring break.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. August

    January 18, 2024 at 7:29 pm

    Clue: It’s not “the jokes” that matter.

  2. Mark

    January 18, 2024 at 7:35 pm

    If all she can say is “oh, geez” she is not the person for the job.

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