New Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and Professor of Physics
I am delighted to announce that Charles E. Lane, former senior vice president and chief operating officer at the University of Florida (UF), will join Caltech as vice president and chief operating officer effective October 9, 2023.
In this pivotal role, Charlie will bring his extensive administrative success in higher education to enhance Caltech's operations; forge and sustain a culture of rigorous planning and effective execution; oversee campus finances and the JPL budget; and emphasize a diverse and inclusive work environment. Charlie will serve as a strategic partner to the president, provost, division chairs, and his senior leadership colleagues, and he will work closely with JPL leadership and several Board of Trustees committees.
As UF's chief administrative officer, Charlie oversaw campus planning, facilities, capital construction, information technology, human resources, internal audit, campus security, environmental health and safety, emergency management, business operations, real estate acquisition and development, Title IX and ADA compliance, sustainability, environmental health and safety, and a variety of other administrative areas with an operating budget of $300 million, approximately $700 million in annual capital construction budgets, and oversight of 2,500 university staff.
A respected leader, Charlie, while at UF, focused on the strategic support of interdisciplinary research, open space and infrastructure, student learning and the student experience, and academic space regeneration. This support included new construction and renovation of nearly one million gross square feet of academic buildings. Charlie also played a significant role in the development of Innovation Square, a 24-acre urban technology redevelopment district that is home to 200 start-up tech companies and hundreds of jobs. Trained in public health, Charlie was integral to UF's COVID-19 response and campus reopening plans.
Prior to joining the University of Florida, Charlie served more than two decades at the University of Southern California (USC) culminating with the position of associate senior vice president, administration. Additionally, Charlie worked for the University of Houston, lntermedics, Inc., and Texas Instruments, Inc.
A Midwesterner from Warrensburg, Missouri, Charlie developed passion and appreciation for higher education early in life: the University of Central Missouri (UCM) was his back yard. Charlie's academic credentials emphasize the natural, applied, and social sciences. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology with minors in mathematics and chemistry (summa cum laude) from Southwest Baptist University, while on a tennis scholarship and earning All-American honors. Charlie then earned a master's degree in science from UCM, a master's degree in public health from the University of Texas, and a master's degree in public administration from USC. Charlie also completed a doctor of public administration degree at USC.
At the same time, I am delighted to announce that Sharon Patterson, who has served as Caltech's associate vice president for finance and treasurer since May 2000, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer. She will bring her financial acumen and her deep knowledge of and dedication to Caltech to these new responsibilities.
Finally, I am grateful to Margo Steurbaut who generously interrupted her retirement to serve as interim vice president for administration and chief financial officer (VPA/CFO) while we searched for Caltech's next chief administrative officer. Prior to her retirement in 2021, Margo guided Caltech with skill and care for more than five years as VPA/CFO, including helping the Institute navigate the challenges of the earliest days of the pandemic.
Please join me in welcoming Charlie to campus, congratulating Charlie and Sharon on their new roles, and wishing Margo continued enjoyment as she returns to her retirement.