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Trustees Approve Timeline For UW's Presidential Search

Angus Thuermer

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees approved a process and timeline Monday for recruiting and hiring UW’s next president.

That process will include hiring a search firm, forming two 14-member committees to select candidates and appointing a recruiter to oversee the entire process.

The first search committee will produce a list of about 15 candidates for the job by mid-December. The second committee will, by mid-January, narrow that list to about 5 finalists who will come to Laramie for on-campus interviews.

Those committees will each be made up of five trustees, two faculty members, two staff members, two students, one UW Foundation board member and two people from outside the University—but there will be no overlap between the two groups. Trustee President Dave Palmerlee will select members to serve in each of the committees.

The Board chose former member Brad Mead, of Jackson, to serve as the “search recruiter.” He’ll oversee the process, find candidates and coordinate between the committees. Trustee John MacPherson says Mead is right for the role.

“He’s not a professional recruiter, but he has a wealth of experience in terms of the last search process and being a member of the Board of Trustees—and has a detailed or intricate knowledge of the operations of the University,” MacPherson says.

UW Spokesman Chad Baldwin says the Board has not yet determined if Mead will be paid for his work.

Under the approved timeline, the University will begin advertising the position in August. UW’s former president Robert Sternberg only held the post for 4 months. Trustee Michelle Sullivan of Sheridan says that presents a challenge in this hiring process.

“Candidates will be looking at our history as they think about whether they want to come here,” says Sullivan. “As a consequence, I think, we need to recognize that we are going to have to live with our history, if you will, in terms of having to convince candidates that there’s an opportunity here—which I think there is, obviously.”

When the Board meets next month, they will select a search firm and settle on committee members. The application deadline for the University of Wyoming president position is slated to be December 1.

Once finalists are announced, the process will be public. 

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