V. Lane Rawlins

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V. Lane Rawlins Mormon Educator

Veldon Lane Rawlins is the former president of the University of North Texas. He retired on January 31, 2014. He had been president since 2010, first on an interim basis and then officially beginning in January 2011.

He was president of Washington State University from 2000 to 2007, and president of the University of Memphis from 1991 to 2000. He was the first Mormon president of a university in the Deep South, which he said offered an opportunity to share his beliefs with people who had never before met a member of [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints].

Rawlins was born in southeastern Idaho on November 30, 1937. He was a freshman at Idaho State University and transferred to Brigham Young University after serving a full-time mission to Australia for the Church of Jesus Christ. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at BYU in 1963, and then his PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1969.

His academic career also includes chair of the economics department at Washington State University from 1977 to 1981 and vice provost of WSU from 1982 to 1986. He served as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Alabama for five years before assuming the presidency of the University of Memphis. From 2007 to 2009, he served as the interim director of The William D. Ruckelshaus Center, a regional problem-solving program of Washington State University and the University of Washington.

Rawlins is a labor economist and much of his research work focused on the effects of education on earnings in people's lives. His books include Public Service Employment: The Experience of a Decade, which was co-authored with Robert F. Cook and Charles F. Adams.

Rawlins and his wife, Mary Jo, have three children.