This week the University of Wyoming announced that President Laurie Nichols will serve out her three-year contract, which ends on June 30. At that point, she'll transition to a faculty position. For many, the news came out of the blue. The 150-word email sent out to faculty, staff and students offered no explanation of the UW Board of Trustees' decision not to renew Nichols' contract.
The announcement came on Monday, just days before a scheduled meeting of the trustees.
Many on campus and the state want to know why UW President Laurie Nichols is not being retained. That includes Dr. Nichols herself. She was hired during a turbulent time at UW, but she believes things are much improved. Nichols says she had been working with UW's Board of Trustees on a new contract and then she was informed last week that her contract would not be renewed.
The need for technical workers is increasing across the country. Those jobs range from welding to manufacturing. In Northeast Wyoming, instructors say there are more open jobs than they have students to fill them. But in looking around the classroom, they see fewer women compared to men. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler found out how educators are thinking about gender diversity.
The Me Too movement is changing the conversation about sexual violence. For some women it's been empowering but also a painful reminder of buried trauma. And for some men it's been a realization that they want to do more to change the status quo. One victim advocacy group in Wyoming wants to help men make that change by giving them better tools. Maggie Mullen has more.
A journalist wrote about the smog in California as a "sickly yellow haze that obscures the mountains." A western region in Wyoming has become too familiar with that same haze, made up of the pollutant: ozone. While a state agency has made efforts to handle it, Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim reports ozone is back in full force.
Wyoming now has two lawmakers in Washington who are also Republican Party leaders and they're promising to make the progressive Green New Deal on climate change a major part of the debate going forward, even as Democratic Party leaders are trying to change the subject. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.
At the end of February, a major inpatient psychological unit in Wyoming closed its doors. The PineRidge Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit in Lander had shut down due to federal regulations. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska reports that a number of people with serious mental illness in northwest Wyoming have nowhere to go.
A few years back, one of the world's most beloved children's book authors completed her last book just four days before she passed away at the age of 92. Jean Craighead George was the author of over 100 picture and chapter books including Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain. Her final book was about a mountain lion. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards spoke with George's nephew, Charlie Craighead, who lives in Moose, Wyoming. He talks about the new picture book "Shadow: The Cougar of Flat Creek," and about growing up in a family of animal lovers.