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UW Board Appoints Edward Seidel As Next University President

University of Illinois Urbana

The University of Wyoming's Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Edward Seidel as the university's next president.

Seidel was among three finalists for the position. A physicist by training, he will come to Wyoming from the University of Illinois system, where he currently serves as vice president for economic development and innovation. He said in an interview with Wyoming Public Radio that he plans to carry that experience over into his new role.

"There are a lot of similarities [between Illinois and Wyoming,] in that the economy needs a jolt, we've been losing talent from the inside to the outside. The details are different, but the strategy is very similar in terms of what I think the University of Wyoming could do for the state of Wyoming," Seidel said.

Throughout the monthslong vetting process, Seidel focused on the university's role as a potential economic engine for the state of Wyoming. In a statement on Wednesday, Gov. Mark Gordon praised the board's decision.

"Ed has demonstrated visionary leadership and brings a strong focus on economic development. His exceptional technical and scientific background will benefit the research efforts of a land grant university," Gordon wrote.

Siedel will sign a three year contract with a $365,000 annual base salary, $15,000 more than was initially offered to the university's first female president Laurie Nichols. His appointment comes a year after the board announced it would allow Nichols' contract to expire.

When he steps into his new role in July, Seidel said he looks forward to getting to know Wyoming and the issues the state faces.

"The ability to have impact in a state like Wyoming is probably unprecedented compared to any other state," Seidel said. "The opportunity to do things that matter and advance the economic and societal wellbeing is right there."

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Savannah Maher, at smaher4@uwyo.edu.

Savannah comes to Wyoming Public Media from NPR’s midday show Here & Now, where her work explored everything from Native peoples’ fraught relationship with American elections to the erosion of press freedoms for tribal media outlets. A proud citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, she’s excited to get to know the people of the Wind River reservation and dig into the stories that matter to them.
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