The Advance-Titan

Long time faculty members set to leave UWO

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lane Earns will retire from UW Oshkosh in August after 30 years spent at the University, both as a professor and in administration.

Earns served as provost at UWO for 13 years and has been an important and influential leader in the creation and development of the University Studies Program, according to Chancellor Andrew Leavitt.

Leavitt said Earns’ dedication to higher education is what made him an asset to UWO.

“He was a visionary and an innovator,” Leavitt said. “I think the testament to his time as provost is going to be his work in leading the University Studies Program development, where we have transformed general education at this institution where it is now a national model.”

When asked about doing an interview, Earns declined, saying he wants to focus on all he still wants to accomplish before retiring in August. Leavitt said he is not surprised and said it speaks to Earns’ character.

“He is a very private person,” Leavitt said. “He has never gone out and sought out accolades or praise, but you can talk to a lot of people on this campus that can paint a portrait [about Earns].”

UWO History Professor Stephen Kercher said Earns provided a calm and steady hand through changing times.

“He began his career at UW Oshkosh when the department of history was still recovering from a period of turmoil,” Kercher said. “The lessons he learned from his early experience here is the imperative of maintaining a collegial and respectful work environment.”

Kercher said the history department at UWO is successful through the help of Earns.

“Among several things for which the history department has taken pride over the past several decades, nurturing awork environment that sets high expectations yet cultivates good cheer stands out, and I think we have Dr. Earns to thank for that,” Kercher said.

UWO History Professor Kimberly Rivers said when she was appointed chair for the history department, she looked at how Earns handled his time as chair.

“He was the chair when I was first hired at UWO,” Rivers said. “He was so calm and deliberative and made sure he collaborated with everyone involved on decisions. He takes academics so seriously.”

Leavitt said he is thrilled and delighted for what the future holds for Earns in retirement.

“Lane is first and foremost a scholar,” Leavitt said. “Now he can take the time to really focus on what he really enjoys about the academy.”

Leavitt said he hopes to find a provost who will help move the University forward like Earns has done all these years at UWO.

“Moving forward I hope to name an interim provost in the next few weeks to people on campus,” Leavitt said. “I want to talk to a number of people first to make sure we will be very effective and very respected in our decision.”

Leavitt said Earns’ backing and assistance was a key part in his transition in becoming chancellor at UWO.

“I am very grateful to Lane Earns,” Leavitt said. “His integrity, generosity and fantastic support of me when I was coming in as a new chancellor. I could have not asked for a better partner in my first two years at the institution.”

Kercher said both his leadership and academic contributions were what made him such an asset at UWO, and he will be greatly missed.

“We are losing a valued expert in Asian history, a respected campus leader and a colleague blessed with a great sense of humor,” Kercher said.

Leave a Comment
Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Long time faculty members set to leave UWO