The incoming President of the University of Wyoming said she is busy setting the stage for a fast start when she begins her new job late this spring.
Laurie Nichols has been working on hiring a new Provost and looking at the best ways to review degree programs on campus.
One thing that will probably wait until Nichols gets to Laramie is developing a five year strategic plan that she believes will help the University focus its mission. She said she’s delighted with new initiatives surrounding engineering, classes involving science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as a couple of initiatives in the College of Education.
“I think a strong plan will pull those things together, and will also bring to light some other areas that need to be lifted up that will compliment some of the things that are happening.”
Nichols said the plan will help set the University up for the future.
One immediate concern is the study of UW’s degree programs to see if any should be eliminated or consolidated. Nichols said she’s had experience studying and reducing degree programs as an administrator at South Dakota State.
The review is part of budget cuts the University may have to address due to Wyoming’s economic downturn. Nichols said the key is to try and make UW stronger across the board
“I wouldn’t enter into it saying that we have to cut X number of programs, but I really think that there needs to be expectations that if a program doesn’t rise to a certain level then you do in fact need to look at what is a better use of those resources.”
Nichols said it’s possible that some new degrees could replace some of the ones they decide to eliminate. She plans to take over the reins as President in late spring.