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Regents pick New Hampshire provost to replace UW-La Crosse chancellor fired over porn career

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A New Hampshire provost with a background in African American history will replace University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, who lost his job last year after producing and appearing in pornographic videos.

The regents announced Wednesday that James Beeby, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Keene State College, will succeed Gow starting on July 1. Beeby will make $281,112 annually, about $18,000 more than what Gow was making when he was fired.

Before joining Keene State, Beeby served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Southern Indiana and also worked as a history professor at Middle Tennessee State University. He has published articles and book chapters about African American history, the history of the American South and race relations.

Beeby beat out two other finalists for the job — interim UW-La Crosse Chancellor Betsy Morgan and Indiana State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Olsen.

The regents fired Gow in December after they learned he was producing and appearing in pornographic videos along with his wife.

Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman wrote in Gow's termination letter that Gow failed to obtain consent before engaging in another occupation as required under his contract, failed to demonstrate appropriate judgment and his decision-making could “disrupt harmony” on campus.

Gow maintained the firing was an overreaction that violated his First Amendment rights.

He was slated to retire as chancellor at the end of June and slide into a $91,915 teaching role in UW-La Crosse's communications department beginning in the fall of 2024. But Rothman has ordered a review of Gow's tenure. The results could void that employment agreement.