Global Resource Navigation:

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Global Resource Navigation

Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW

Catching Up on Some Important Projects

October 9, 2017

To the UW community:

Good Monday morning!

For a second Monday in October, we woke up to snow! Like many of you, I do not feel ready for snow or cold. Luckily, the week looks to improve, with a forecast for sunshine and warmer temperatures. Let’s hope!

Last week returned to a much more reasonable pace for me and allowed time to get caught up on meetings and several projects. In addition, Tim and I hosted our family over the weekend, with Tim’s brother and sister-in-law visiting us from Toppenish, Wash.; and our oldest daughter, Jordan, spending a few days with us as her school observed a three-day weekend. We certainly enjoyed having them with us in Wyoming.

Last Monday, I had the opportunity to meet with Cindy DeLancey, the new president of the Wyoming Business Alliance. Cindy stopped by for a short visit while in Laramie for other meetings. Among other topics, we discussed the upcoming Governor’s Business Forum scheduled Nov. 7-9. This conference is a 35-year signature event for the Wyoming Business Alliance. I plan to attend as much as possible, and I expect many from UW will attend various sessions over the 2.5 days.

Last Monday, Tim and I had the pleasure of hosting lunch for Keepers of the Fire student members at the Native American Education, Research and Cultural Center. Tim made chili and cornbread for the group, which was well received on a snowy day. We enjoyed sharing a meal, meeting students and discussing their educational aspirations at UW. And, of course, we encouraged them to make good use of the center!

Monday ended with a special staff recognition for Nick Nordberg, who was honored as Employee of the Second Quarter, part of a recognition program sponsored by Staff Senate. Nick is manager of the Rendezvous Café and does a wonderful job of operating a great café, as he greets customers, making sure that all are satisfied. It was a pleasure to recognize and thank Nick for his service to UW. Congratulations, Nick!

Last week, Dr. Jo Lynn Digranes conducted a review of our outreach sites for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), our regional accreditor. Dr. Digranes spent Tuesday on campus visiting with various administrators and campus support staff who work with the various outreach offices. Then, throughout the remainder of the week, she visited various outreach offices including, those located at Gillette College, Central Wyoming College, Western Wyoming Community College and the Cody outreach office. HLC triggers periodic reviews when changes have been made in off-site locations, which has been the case for us in the past year. The week went smoothly, and Dr. Digranes was pleased with the first-class service she received. We await the recommendations of this visit and will share when we receive them. I thank all who participated in this HLC review.

While I did not have the opportunity to attend, I thank Rob Godby and Nicole Korfanta, who coordinated “Wyoming’s Wind Energy Future: An emerging issues forum.” Rob represents the School of Energy Resources Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy, and Nicole represents the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, co-sponsors of the forum. The two-day forum was loaded with speakers covering a wide variety of topics pertinent to wind energy. Those in attendance were genuinely pleased with the breadth and depth of the conference. I thank Rob and Nicole for providing such superb outreach to Wyoming’s leaders and energy policy-makers.

Wednesday included a trip to Cheyenne to have lunch with alumnus John Clay, and to meet with Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and Dr. Jim Rose, executive director of the Community College Commission. Our meeting included reviewing the report from a team of secondary and higher education math professionals who have studied Wyoming’s secondary math standards. The goal of their work was to identify gaps in alignment of math standards from high school to college math expectations. As a follow-up to this meeting, I plan to meet with Dr. Greg Lyng and Dave Anton this week. These two represented UW on the review team, which I greatly appreciate. The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of math remediation needed by Wyoming high school graduates.

Thursday evening, I had the privilege of hosting those individuals who served on the Strategic Planning Leadership Council or who led dialogue and listening sessions. Beyond an enjoyable evening of conversation and refreshments, Provost Miller and I had the opportunity to thank this group for its service, comment on the development of the strategic plan and share a few details of branding the plan as “Breaking Through.” It was a fun evening, and again, I thank all who worked tirelessly in gathering information via listening sessions and then drafting the plan. Well done!

Friday was spent in Casper attending the Wyoming Women’s Expo, Professional Development Day, sponsored by UW-Casper. I was invited to provide the opening address on women and leadership -- a topic I am passionate about! I was able to stay for the next two speakers: Sandy Widman, who shared her story of starting her own business in the insurance industry, and Lorie Eichert, who talked more generally on developing confidence, as she wove her own personal story into the talk. I thank Tammi Hanshaw of UW-Casper, who extended the invitation for me to participate in this motivating day.

Although I was not able to attend, I hope many of you were able to participate in the day-long presentation of faculty from the Wyoming Institute of Humanities Research (WIHR), as they paid tribute to Dr. Eric Sandeen. Eric, who led WIHR for many years, recently retired. I trust that the day and closing reception were a perfect honor to Eric, who has served UW admirably these many years.

Over the course of the week, several meetings were held to begin planning for an enhanced Trustees’ Scholars weekend so that we might yield a stronger number of these bright high school graduates. We also discussed the need for additional scholarships at a stepped-down level from the trustees’ scholarship to attract even more “best and brightest” Wyoming students. These efforts fit well with the strategic enrollment plan and will continue to grow the number of strong students who attend UW. And while we are on the topic of recruiting strong students, I thank Rene Sanchez, coordinator of High School Institute (HSI), who facilitated a reunion of the HSI class of 2016 in Laramie this weekend. Keeping HSI participants connected to UW through their junior and senior high school years is important. Thank you, Rene!

I look forward to attending Faculty Senate this afternoon to offer a report, and this Saturday marks a special evening as Miss Morgan Wallace is coroneted as Miss Rodeo Wyoming 2018. Morgan is a UW student majoring in ag business and wanted her coronation to be held at UW. We are honored to host it. Congratulations, Morgan!

I hope you have a great week -- and be sure to stay warm and safe in this challenging weather.

Laurie Nichols, President

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon