Longtime OSU professor resigns from NOAA to return to teaching

and be closer to family

A familiar face soon could be back at Oregon State University.

Jane Lubchenco, on leave from her position as a zoology professor at OSU, is stepping down as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s administrator in February.

In an email to NOAA employees earlier this week, she cited a desire to be closer to family and to return to teaching as her reasons for stepping down from the prestigious position.

Vince Remcho, the interim dean of the College of Science at OSU, said Thursday that he has been in contact with Lubchenco.

“We’ve already had some wonderful conversations with Jane,” Remcho said in a voicemail to the Gazette-Times. “We are anticipating her return to Oregon State University where her position as professor of zoology was held.”

Lubchenco spent the past four years leading NOAA, a federal agency that focuses on the conditions of the ocean and atmosphere.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NOAA provides a wide range of services, from weather forecasts to supporting marine commerce.

Before becoming NOAA’s administrator, Lubchenco spent three decades at OSU. She received her Ph.D. in ecology in 1975 from Harvard University and taught there before joining OSU’s faculty in 1977.

Remcho described Lubchenco as an amazingly accomplished researcher who has done a lot for OSU. He said that her experience heading NOAA would be an asset to university.

“She has so very much more to offer than ever before given her public policy experience in leading NOAA,” Remcho said. “I am eager to see what opportunities await the college and the university working in partnership with Jane and Bruce (Menge).”

Menge, Lubchenco’s husband, also is a professor of zoology at OSU.

Raju Woodward is the K-12 education reporter for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at 541-758-9526 or raju.woodward@lee.net