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January 16, 2014 — The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees today (Thursday) appointed Dick McGinity as the university’s 25th president, expressing confidence that the university’s efforts to excel as a premier land-grant institution will move forward under his leadership.
The board voted to approve a contract with McGinity, who was named UW’s interim president on Dec. 6 and has been fulfilling the duties of president since former president Bob Sternberg resigned Nov. 14. The contract will extend through June 30, 2016, and provide for an annual salary of $375,000.
“Our action today solidifies the university’s leadership to allow planning and decision-making that will carry the institution to new levels of excellence in educating students and providing research and service to Wyoming and the world,” says Dave Bostrom, president of the Board of Trustees.
In appointing McGinity, the trustees noted his background as a successful business leader and Vietnam War veteran; his work in an endowed professorship at UW since 2007; his commitment to Wyoming and UW’s land-grant and flagship missions; and his strong educational background (undergraduate degree from Princeton, graduate degrees from Harvard).
“Dr. McGinity has stepped up during an extraordinary time to bring sound leadership for some major initiatives and stability to the university,” Bostrom says. “He has demonstrated his ability to lead the institution. Now is not the time, at a critical juncture in UW’s progression, to initiate a potentially unsuccessful search for outside candidates when one of the university’s own is willing and ready to handle the heavy responsibility.”
The contract specifically rules out a buyout in the event either the board or McGinity decides he will not serve for the full term of the contract. In that case, he would return to his faculty position in the UW College of Business at a salary five-sixths of what he made as interim vice president for academic affairs, or $200,000, in accordance with UW regulations.
“I am excited at this opportunity to help lead the university as it strives to achieve its incredible potential,” McGinity says. “We have an excellent administrative team, an outstanding faculty and staff, superb students, and unbelievable support from the people of Wyoming and our alumni. We will work hard to harness those assets to carry us to greater heights.”
McGinity and his administrative team are working with Gov. Matt Mead and lawmakers to prepare for the Legislature’s 2014 budget session. The governor has recommended funding for a number of the university’s top priorities, including a pay raise to retain and recruit top UW employees; programmatic and capital facilities improvements for the College of Engineering and Applied Science; enhancement of information technology and classrooms for students; and progress on partnerships with Wyoming community colleges.
McGinity is leading the development of the university’s strategic plan for 2015-2020. That planning process, which involves all UW units, aims to establish priorities and identify concrete steps to reach new levels of excellence.
McGinity’s priorities include a focus on student success and producing graduates who are prepared to compete in the global job market; demonstrating academic excellence in specific areas of instruction, research and service; and cultivating a culture of interaction with the people of Wyoming in response to the state’s needs.
Before becoming UW’s interim vice president for academic affairs in September, McGinity had held the Bill Daniels Chair of Business Ethics in UW’s College of Business since 2007.
His public service includes more than seven years as a member of the Wyoming Business Council board of directors; and five years as a naval aviator, earning two air medals for service in Vietnam.
After earning his undergraduate degree from Princeton and graduate degrees (MBA, DBA) from Harvard, McGinity pursued a career in venture capital and private equity -- first as a partner in a venture capital fund, and then as founder of an investment banking firm which served owners of private firms seeking to build enterprise value through growth, acquisitions and equity transactions.
He also served on the research faculty of Harvard Business School, where he wrote numerous case studies, co-wrote a book about economic development and agribusiness, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on competition in the meatpacking industry from 1945 to 1960.
McGinity has served on the boards of numerous privately owned and publicly traded companies, most recently Canada Southern Petroleum Ltd., where as chairman he led that company’s successful defense against a hostile takeover attempt by Petro-Canada.
McGinity maintains a home at Crowheart. He loves being in the wilderness on horseback and is a licensed professional guide.