Presidential Candidate Laurie Nichols Visits UW

Dec 9, 2015

Laurie Nichols at UW
Credit Aaron Schrank/WPR

The second of three candidates for the University of Wyoming presidency visited campus Wednesday to interview for the job.

Laurie Stenberg Nichols has served as a provost at South Dakota State University for the past 7 years. She also earned her degree there as a first-generation college student. Nichols told students, faculty, staff and others at a public forum that she connects with UW’s land grant mission.

“I love the fact this University doesn’t stop at the borders of Laramie—that it continues on and that it attends to the citizens of the whole state including industry and so forth,” says Nichols. “The other part about a land grant that I love is just the disciplines. Most land grant universities have great colleges of agriculture. They usually have really good colleges of engineering, and you do too. So, I’m really familiar with the disciplines.”

Nichols was asked about topics including faculty compensation and morale, the University’s relationship with Laramie, fundraising, partnerships with the state’s community colleges and industry partnerships.

Nichols says UW’s land-grant mission should include serving a wide variety of the state’s industries—and a responsibility to Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation.

“What I would do is go out to the Reservation and spend time with the leadership of the Reservation—tribal leadership, because that’s really the start of it is relationship—you just have to establish that. And from there, you begin to talk about, ‘where are points of collaboration? Is there any place where our working together would really help you?”

The third and final candidate for the position will visit campus on Monday.

The UW Board of Trustees is expected to make a hiring decision soon after that final visit.