LARAMIE (AP) — Visiting the University of Wyoming campus for the first time since being named its new president, Robert Sternberg is making a good impression with students and faculty.
“I find him instantly likable,” English professor Cliff Marks said Monday after meeting Sternberg. “He’s very appealing. I can understand why the Board of Trustees would be attracted to him as our new president.”
Mike Barker, chairman of the UW Faculty Senate, said Sternberg has the skill and experience to move the university forward.
“He has a passion for undergraduate education, and that is so important for the people of the state of Wyoming and for Wyoming industry,” Barker said.
On the first day of a two-day visit, Sternberg toured the campus Monday and met with university staff, students and faculty, listening to concerns and describing his goals and leadership style. He was to continue his campus visit Tuesday before returning to Oklahoma State University where he is provost and senior vice president.
Sternberg, 63, was hired to replace Tom Buchanan, who is retiring this summer. He officially takes office on July 1.
In meeting with members of the student government, Sternberg heard concerns about rising tuition and fees, academic advisers, faculty recruiting and other issues.
Joel Defebaugh, president of the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming, said he found Sternberg humorous and intelligent.
“I think he’s going to be one of those guys you’re probably going to see on the slopes of the Snowy Range or snowshoeing, so that’s exciting,” Defebaugh said.
Dressed in a tan suit jacket with a brown and gold stripped tie, Sternberg also spoke to members of the Faculty Senate, listing his values and goals and answering questions.
His goals include enhancing faculty research, seeing that UW’s excellence is better recognized around the world and supporting better salaries.
Sternberg said his style of leadership is to collaborate with all interested parties on university decisions.
He also said it was important that UW not become an “ivory tower.”
“I think it’s really important to get out and meet people,” he said.
Sternberg said he understands the importance of athletics in the development of students and the university, but it’s just as important that athletics remain integrated with the mission and values of the university.