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UW Board of Trustees Gains Five New Members

March 4, 2015
Head portraits of four men and one woman
Mel Baldwin, Mike Massie, John McKinley, Dick Scarlett and Michelle Sullivan

A retired school administrator, a former legislator, an attorney, a banking executive and philanthropist, and an education innovator and advocate have been named to the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees.

Mel Baldwin of Afton, Mike Massie of Laramie, John McKinley of Cheyenne, Dick Scarlett of Wilson and Michelle Sullivan of Sheridan were appointed by Gov. Matt Mead and approved by the Wyoming Senate. They succeed the late Warren Lauer, along with Dick Davis, Betty Fear, Brad Mead and Dr. Howard Willson, whose terms expired.

All of the new trustees’ terms extend through 2021, with the exception of Massie, who, through 2017, will fill out the term of the seat that had been held by Lauer.

New trustees are:

Mel Baldwin

Baldwin retired in 2004 after eight years as superintendent of Uinta County School District 1 in Evanston. Before that, he served for 26 years as an administrator in Fremont County School District 25 in Riverton, after earning his master’s (1971) and doctoral (1973) degrees from UW. He has taught courses for UW, Central Wyoming College, Northwest College and Western Wyoming Community College.

Currently a member of the North Lincoln County Hospital District Board in Star Valley, he has served on the Wyoming State Board of Education; the Wyoming Retirement System Board; the Evanston Regional Hospital Board; and as president of the Wyoming High School Activities Association.

He and his wife, Lola, have five children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

“My experiences should allow me to focus on important matters coming before the Board of Trustees and help the board make decisions appropriate to all areas of concern,” Baldwin says. He wants to help “facilitate improved programming and instruction for all UW students,” expand UW services across the state, “prioritize fiscal accountability and wise use of new funding from the Legislature and outside donors,” and enhance cooperation with out-of-state professional schools for UW students seeking post-graduate placements.

Mike Massie

Massie recently retired from UW as director of governmental relations, after working for three and a half years in that position and as special assistant to the president for external affairs. He represented Albany County in the Legislature from 1995-2010 and also serves on the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust board.

His career also included eight years as executive director of Child Development Services of Wyoming; four years as director of the Community Services Division at UW’s Wyoming Institute for Disabilities; and nine years as assistant director of the Wyoming Council for the Humanities. From 1991-2003, he taught credit courses as an adjunct instructor in the UW Department of History. He earned a master’s degree in American history from UW in 1980.

Massie and his wife, Ruth, have two children.

“I look forward to helping UW fulfill its mission as a land-grant university by providing high-quality higher education and conducting applied research that benefits Wyoming and students for a lifetime,” says Massie, who will bring to the board “an ability to listen and work with others to achieve meaningful results.”

John McKinley

McKinley is a partner in the Cheyenne office of Davis & Cannon LLP, and the firm's managing partner. He joined the firm in July 1994 after spending five years practicing law in Salt Lake City. He is a member of the Order of the Coif, the American Inns of Court and Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

A graduate of the UW College of Law, with honors, in 1989, he serves on the College of Law Dean's Advisory Board. He also holds a master of business administration degree from UW.

McKinley grew up in western Wyoming. He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children.

“I plan on being a productive member of the Board of Trustees to assist in guiding the university forward in providing quality education to its students,” he says.

Dick Scarlett

Scarlett, former longtime president and CEO of United Bancorporation for Wyoming Inc., is the managing partner of Scarlett Capital I LLC in Wilson. His successful business career, most of which was spent in Jackson Hole, also included leadership of banks in Colorado.

A major donor to UW along with his wife, Maggie, Scarlett helped establish the first endowed faculty position for UW’s College of Business and supports numerous student scholarships. The Scarlett Auditorium in the College of Business is named for them. He served on the college’s advisory council for many years.

One of the founding members of the Cowboy Joe Club, Scarlett was one of the major donors for the renovation of the Arena-Auditorium. He received UW’s highest honor, the honorary doctoral degree, in 2002, and was named a UW and College of Business distinguished alumnus in 1996 and 1994.

Among his other activities has been service on the board of the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West; as a director of the National Western Stock Show Association, the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole; and membership on the Wyoming Financial Institutions Board.

A 1964 UW graduate in business administration, Scarlett performed graduate studies at Southern Methodist University. The Scarletts have three children and six grandchildren.

“My educational degrees, as well as my financial and managerial background, will be beneficial in my role as a trustee. I am dedicated to maintaining a strong relationship with the Wyoming Legislature and state officials, as I know how critically important that is to the continued success of the university,” Scarlett says. “I will be dedicated to offering excellent educational opportunities to as many Wyoming students as possible at an affordable price, and preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century. Secondly, I will be dedicated to working cooperatively with organizations throughout the state to assure that there are employment opportunities for our graduates.”

Michelle Sullivan

A consultant to numerous organizations, Sullivan founded the Center for Inspired Learning Environments, whose mission is to bridge emerging research in the learning sciences with the design of student-centered educational environments.

Her career has included service as president of the Ucross Foundation; vice president and director of Wyoming operations for the Daniels Fund; and senior policy associate at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. She founded the Snake River Institute in Jackson Hole, an early leader in developing experiential programs for children and adults about the American West.

A graduate of Colorado College, Sullivan was awarded a master’s degree in mind, brain and education from Harvard University in 2011 and continues to work as a teaching fellow there. She served as a member and former chair of the Wyoming State Board of Education; as a member of the State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission; as a trustee for the Homer and Mildred Scott Foundation, and the Foundation for Community Vitality; and as a member of the Whitney Museum of Western Art advisory board.

Sullivan and her husband, Brian, have three children.

“UW is a critical nexus in the education and development of future leaders in Wyoming; to the exploration of issues that face our state both through research and the generation of new knowledge,” Sullivan says. “As a trustee, I hope I can help to foster and encourage an environment of continuous improvement and a pursuit of excellence at the university. I hope my experience can inform our various discussions, whether it is about how the College of Education can be a premier professional school that contributes to the educational excellence of all Wyoming students, or how the university continues to improve teaching and learning in all its schools.”

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