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The William D. Ruckelshaus Center

V. Lane Rawlins

V. Lane RawlinsV. Lane Rawlins served as the University of North Texas’ 15th president from December 2010 until his retirement in early 2014, after first joining the university in May 2010 on an initial one-year appointment.

In his third public university presidency, President Rawlins continued he track record of success in elevating the quality and image of the universities he serves. Throughout his career, he has focused on maintaining strong connections between world-class research and top-quality undergraduate education. His ultimate commitment is to foster excellence in public higher education because of its power to transform individuals, regions, states and nations.

Prior to joining UNT, President Rawlins led Washington State University from 2000 to 2007 when it was designated a top-tier research university and substantially grew its research funding. As president of WSU, he led the creation of a strategic plan that guided the university’s drive for educational and research excellence.

His leadership at WSU also resulted in:

  • increased enrollment of academically talented students
  • a more diverse student body
  • a stronger statewide presence while still supporting the needs of its multiple campus locations

Following President Rawlins’ retirement from WSU, he served from 2007 to 2009 as the interim director of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center for Conflict Resolution, a regional program of WSU and the University of Washington.

Before joining WSU as president, he served as:

  • President, University of Memphis, 1991 to 2000
  • Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Alabama System, 1986 to 1991
  • Vice Provost, Washington State University, 1982 to 1986
  • Chair, Department of Economics at Washington State University, 1977 to 1982

President Rawlins twice served on the NCAA’s Board of Directors and as chair of the Pac-10, Conference USA and Great Mid-West athletic conferences. He has served on the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Governor’s Council on Global Competitiveness, and more than 20 other boards, including Boy Scouts of America, United Way and WKNO National Public Radio.

President Rawlins earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.S. in economics from Brigham Young University. He has focused much of his research on labor economics (especially the effects of education on earnings in people’s lives) and public policy.

President Rawlins is a native of southeast Idaho. He and his wife, Mary Jo, have three children, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Updated on November 4, 2014

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