Wisconsin University Chancellor, Fired for Secret Life as Vegan OnlyFans Porn Star, Fights To Keep Tenure, Claims ‘Free Expression’

‘I think there’s a great deal of hypocrisy,’ the former chancellor, Joseph Gow, tells the Sun, since the university’s leadership has emphasized its commitment to ‘academic freedom and freedom of expression’ even when it’s ‘uncomfortable.’

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A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Professor, Joe Gow (R), and his wife, Carmen Wilson (C), are seen on their YouTube channel, Sexy Happy Couple, on which they cook vegan receipes with porn stars. YouTube

A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse chancellor, Joseph Gow, who lost his position last year after he was discovered to be producing pornographic videos where he had sex on camera with his wife, then posting the content on OnlyFans and Pornhub,  will appear at an open faculty hearing this week in an attempt to preserve his tenured faculty position. 

Mr. Gow was terminated as chancellor in December after the university’s leadership discovered that he was creating adult content and posting it online including on OnlyFans and Pornhub — but he retained his faculty role, staying on payroll. 

Mr. Gow and his wife were also maintaining a YouTube channel where they would cook vegan meals with notable porn stars.

The hearing, set for Wednesday and overseen by five La Crosse professors, raises questions about public employees’ private lifestyle choices in the relatively-new age of widespread digital pornography use and OnlyFans — and comes an increasing number of teachers are being fired from their employers for publishing pornographic content as a side gig. 

Professor Gow and Ms. Wilson have been unabashed defenders of making their alternative lifestyle public on OnlyFans. X / Twitter

In one prominent case earlier this year, the former president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Rachel Dolezal, was fired from a teacher job at a Tucson school after her OnlyFans account was discovered. 

“I’m very much looking forward to clearing the air about the situation,” Mr. Gow tells the Sun in an interview. “I don’t think people have all the facts because there’s this investigative report that was produced and it’s over 300 pages and it’s a confidential document and that will come out in the hearing. And I think at that point, people will get a better understanding of what’s going on here.” 

The system of tenure at American universities was originally established in the early 1900s to protect free speech by professors. In most cases, professors with tenure can only be fired for cause, such as wilful misconduct like stealing, assault or sexual harassment, or if they reach a mandatory retirement age. Mr. Gow, who after being exposed for his pornographic side hustle has been unrepentant and “sex positive,” argues that his work on OnlyFans and PornHub is protected free expression.

A representative of the UW System declined to comment to the Sun, saying that it was an “ongoing personnel matter.” In a statement at the time of Mr. Gow’s chancellor termination, the Universities of Wisconsin president, Jay Rothman, said his pornography videos “subjected the university to significant reputational harm” and called his actions “abhorrent.” 

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Professor Gow, is fighting to keep his tenured position at the university. Via University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse

“We are alarmed, and disgusted, by his actions, which were wholly and undeniably inconsistent with his role as chancellor,” UW System’s regent president, Karen Walsh, said at the time. 

The school’s leadership has displayed “a great deal of hypocrisy,” Mr. Gow says, “because the Board of Regents has something called the Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression.”

 That commitment states that the UW System has a “solemn responsibility” to protect freedom of ideas even when they are “thought by some or even by most members of the university community (or those outside the community) to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.”

“I don’t know why that doesn’t apply in this situation,” Mr. Gow says. “It’s really quite a mystery.” 

Professor Gow and Ms. Wilson preside over another vegan cooking show with a porn star. YouTube

He says the main legal debate moving forward, in his view, is how to regulate the internet. 

“Right now, they’ve got some cases at the Supreme Court that they’re going to have decisions on pretty soon, but they’re more along the lines of, can websites take things down that people post and are they allowed to block political candidates from posting that kind of thing?,” he says. 

He says he expects the UW System attorneys to point to a 2004 Supreme Court case San Diego v. Roe, holding that it wasn’t a First Amendment violation to fire a police officer for distributing a pornographic video of himself. 

“I would argue, a faculty member and a police officer, those are very different roles,” he says. “And then 2004, that’s 20 years ago. Twitter didn’t exist at that point and certainly Pornhub and other sites like that didn’t exist. And so, things have changed a lot.”


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