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Chancellor Gow to stay at UW-La Crosse

By Lou Hillman, lhillman@wkbt.com
Published On: Dec 09 2012 01:23:49 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 10 2012 07:56:10 AM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

UW-La Crosse chancellor Joe Gow has turned down an opportunity to interview for the open chancellor's position at UW-Madison.

Gow sent an e-mail to students and staff on Saturday afternoon explaining his decision to stay. The full text of the e-mail is posted below.

Tune in to News 8 at 5:30 to see a live interview with Gow about his future with the university.

Here's Chancellor Gow's email to students:

Greetings, colleagues and students. I hope you're enjoying this sunny Saturday afternoon as much as I am. While I typically don't write to you on weekends, I have some personal, non-urgent news to share and this seems to be a good time to do so. (Although I won't be surprised if many of you are, wisely, doing things other than reading e-mail on such a nice December day.) 

The great nineteenth century writer and poet Oscar Wilde once observed that "There is only one thing worse in life than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Because I have the privilege of serving as the chancellor of our university I've always felt fortunate to receive a wealth of attention from the members of our campus and community. But even I was a little surprised at Thursday's UW System Regents Meeting when Dan Simmons, a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal, told me that my name had been mentioned among the potential candidates for the chancellor vacancy at UW-Madison. And when Dan asked me if I would be pursuing the position, I told him the truth; namely, that the search committee had, in fact, contacted me about a week ago to say that I was nominated, but I'd yet to let them know whether I wanted to be formally considered as an applicant.

I think you can appreciate how flattering it is for someone in my profession to be invited to be a candidate for one of the top higher education positions in the world. And when I conveyed this news to several wise and trusted colleagues none of them scoffed at the notion that I might seriously be considered for the UW-Madison role. (I'm lucky to have such kind and diplomatic friends.) But in considering the possibilities in Madison I've also had to confront the reality that I would have to leave UW-L. And I'm pleased to tell you that I'm not willing to do that. Over the past few days I've had the opportunity to reflect on just how happy I am here at UW-L; and I've come to the conclusion that there's no place I'd rather be. So I've just written to the UW-Madison Search Committee to thank them and say that I don't wish to be considered as an applicant for that extraordinary university's leadership position.  

I'm often asked "What is the best part of your job?" And I always give the same quick answer: "Just walking around our campus and community." I can't find the words to describe the incredible amount of warmth and good will I receive from UW-L and La Crosse people each and every day I'm here. And I'm not ready to give this up to explore the possibility of leaving for another position, even one as enticing as the chancellor position at UW-Madison. So I hope this puts to rest any rumors of my leaving UW-L. 

Although I occupy a position of privilege and visibility, I'm only human after all. And I feel so very, very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends here at UW-L. I only wish all of you could know how that feels. Thanks for being so kind to me.

Best wishes,

Joe

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