Charles E. Lane, a respected, strategic administrative leader with vast higher-education and corporate experience, will join Caltech on October 9, 2023, as vice president and chief operating officer.
In this role, Lane will oversee many Institute-wide administrative functions, including management of Caltech’s facilities, human resources, business and finance, audit and compliance, and information and management systems and services divisions. He brings more than two decades of experience in administrative management and higher-education operations to Caltech, having most recently served as the University of Florida’s senior vice president and chief operating officer.
“I am delighted to announce that Charlie will join Caltech,” said Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum, the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics.
“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,” Rosenbaum said in an email announcement to the Caltech community. “Charlie will serve as a strategic partner to the president, provost, division chairs, and his senior leadership colleagues, and will work closely with JPL leadership and several Board of Trustees committees.”
At the University of Florida, Lane was the university’s chief administrative officer, with oversight of 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.
Among his many accomplishments in Florida, was his effective leadership in the creation and initial implementation of a comprehensive strategic development plan linking the City of Gainesville and the University of Florida. With an ambitious multifaceted focus on supporting interdisciplinary research, open space and infrastructure, the future of learning, the student experience, and academic space regeneration, the plan calls for $1.5 billion of new construction and the renovation of nearly 1 million gross square feet of academic buildings. During his tenure at the University of Florida, nearly 3 million gross square feet of space were added to the campus. Lane also played a central 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. With a background in public health, Lane was also integral to UF’s COVID-19 response and campus reopening plans.
“The faculty, students, and staff on campus and at JPL embody the essence of this extraordinary Institute,” Lane says. “I look forward to joining the Caltech community and, together with my new colleagues on campus and at JPL, facilitating its transformative work in meaningful ways.”
Prior to moving to the University of Florida in 2014, Lane was at USC for more than two decades, where he held roles of increasing responsibility in environmental health and safety and management. In his final position at USC, he was the associate senior vice president, administration and responsible for administering the university’s programs pertaining to security, risk management and insurance, workers’ compensation, disability, employee recruitment and development, faculty development, emergency planning, environmental health and safety, and sustainability. Before USC, Lane administered health and safety programs at the University of Houston, Intermedics, Inc., and Texas Instruments, Inc.
Lane received a bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in mathematics and chemistry from Southwest Baptist University, a master’s degree from the University of Central Missouri, a master’s in public health from the University of Texas, and a master’s degree in public administration from USC. He also completed a doctorate in public administration at USC.