LARAMIE — Sixteen people representing a wide range of interests have been named to the committee that will help select the next president of the University of Wyoming.
UW trustees, faculty, staff and students are represented on the committee, along with a former governor; an alumnus who’s a recently retired corporate CEO; a former state auditor and current electrical utility executive; and a former student body president who works in the oil and gas industry. UW Board of Trustees Chairman Dave True announced the committee appointments Wednesday. The previously announced chairman of the committee is former Board of Trustees President John MacPherson, of Saratoga. The board’s intent is to have a long-term president selected by July 1, 2020.
“I appreciate the willingness of these outstanding individuals to contribute to the selection of our next university president,” True said in a press release. “Their work will be essential for us to conduct a successful search and select an excellent individual to be our long-term president.”
In addition to MacPherson, the committee members include Megan Degenfelder, who served as president of the Associated Students of UW in 2011-12 and now works for Southland Royalty Co. in Cheyenne; former two-term Gov. Matt Mead; Rita Meyer, former state auditor who is the director of infrastructure investment for Rocky Mountain Power in Wyoming; and Doug Stark, Riverton native, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources alumnus and recently retired CEO of Farm Credit Services of America.
Members of the Board of Trustees on the committee are board Vice Chairman Jeff Marsh, of Torrington; Macey Moore, of Douglas; and Laura Schmid-Pizzato, of Rock Springs.
Also on the committee are current ASUW President Jason Wilkins, of Cheyenne; law professor Ken Chestek, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Staff Senate President James Wheeler, a project coordinator in the Division of Student Affairs.
Rounding out the committee are 2018-19 ASUW President Alex Mulhall and UW employees Anne Alexander, associate vice provost for undergraduate education; visual and literary arts professor Alyson Hagy; associate professor Matthew Painter, of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology; and Laura Shevling, senior director of financial systems and business optimization.
The trustees intend to use a consulting firm to assist in the search, and selection of such a firm is among the next steps to be taken. A search recruiter — an independent individual to facilitate contact of nontraditional candidates — also will be appointed.
Listening sessions, two on campus and one elsewhere in Wyoming, will be planned to help define necessary and desired attributes of the next president.
Acting President Neil Theobald is not restricted from applying for the long-term position.
The search committee will be charged with forwarding about 12 qualified candidates to the Board of Trustees and its ex-officio members (not including the acting president), based on a majority vote of the committee as well as a majority vote of trustees on the committee. The board will have the option of adding other candidates to the list advanced by the search committee — including candidates who applied but were not selected as semifinalists — but no candidate specifically rejected by the committee will be eligible for addition by the board.
The names of the applicants and semifinalists will be confidential. But, once the board narrows the list of candidates to three to five finalists, they will be publicly identified and brought to campus for public forums. Public input will be accepted by the board following those forums.
The board will conduct individual interviews with the finalists in executive session, then select the top one or two candidates.