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UW’s McGinity Recommends Presidential Search; Board Will Begin Planning

April 13, 2015

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity has recommended to the UW Board of Trustees that it initiate a search for a new president to succeed him at the conclusion of his contract in summer 2016.

The Board of Trustees will plan and organize a search in the near future. The fundamentals of the search process have not yet been determined, but the board intends to use an “open” approach in which finalists are publicly identified.

“It is an honor and privilege to have been entrusted with the leadership of this wonderful institution at a critical point in its history. I am grateful to my administrative team and the faculty for their tireless and self-sacrificing work,” McGinity says. “I am also grateful to my partner, Susan Berman, for her enthusiastic support of me and the university during this time.”

McGinity says he gave his recommendation to the board during its March 25-27 meeting and planned to make a public announcement last week, but those plans were delayed in deference to the deaths of two students on campus. While the UW community continues to grieve their losses, and UW officials continue to work with the families and those affected by the deaths, it is time to move forward to enable a successful search, the president says.

“The board and I agree that a formal search for a new president, with the expectation of a multiyear commitment upon hiring, is now warranted,” he says. “As the search proceeds, I will remain fully engaged in pursuing excellence throughout the university, and I pledge to do whatever is necessary to support the board and the university during the search.”

McGinity -- who became UW’s 25th president Jan. 17, 2014 -- intends to return to the faculty of UW’s College of Business at the conclusion of his contract June 30, 2016.

Board of Trustees President Dave Palmerlee says, “President McGinity stepped up at an extremely challenging time in UW’s history. Under his leadership, we have made progress on many fronts, including the university’s relationship with the Legislature and the state’s community colleges. He also ushered in a new, positive era of partnership and cooperation between the trustees and the university administration. The board deeply appreciates his service, and he has the board’s full support as the search process moves forward.”

Palmerlee says he intends to appoint a committee of Board of Trustees members to fashion a recommendation to the full board regarding the details of the search process. He will ask the committee to receive input from faculty, staff, students, Wyoming citizens and other UW constituencies.

Here is the complete statement from UW President Dick McGinity:

“It is an honor and privilege to have been entrusted with the leadership of this wonderful institution at a critical point in its history. I am grateful to my administrative team and the faculty for their tireless and self-sacrificing work. I am also grateful to my partner, Susan Berman, for her enthusiastic support of me and the university during this time.

“By the end of my term, we will have accomplished many things together. Among these are compensation increases for faculty and staff; correction of community college course credit transfer problems; launch of USP 2015; progress in implementing the ‘Tier 1’ energy and engineering initiative of the governor; the Science Initiative of the Legislature; and the endowed chairs and College of Education initiatives of the trustees.

“So far this semester, we have recruited outstanding deans for the colleges of Business, Engineering and Applied Science, and Law; and have been authorized to proceed with design of a university-wide fiscal system. We will complete a strategic plan that, for the first time, lays out metrics by which UW will communicate its steadily rising levels of excellence in areas important to the state of Wyoming. Winning the Mountain West Conference men’s basketball tournament championship also should be noted. We have achieved these successes together, and together they provide a foundation on which to build greater excellence across the university.

“I am happy that UW will have made much progress during my 29 months in Old Main. But much, much more remains to be done before UW achieves the levels of educational, research and service excellence that its constituents need from it, and that it should expect of itself. Pursuit of steadily growing excellence at UW requires long-term planning and commitment -- five to 10 years or more -- with a stable leadership team in which the academic enterprise and the administrative functions are intimately integrated.

“Having served continuously for three decades on one or more boards of corporations and tax-exempt organizations, and having chaired several, I know that it takes time to build such a leadership team. This experience, and recognition that UW needs to get on with this task, is the basis of my recommendation to the trustees to begin a search for a new president promptly.

“The board and I agree that a formal search for a new president, with the expectation of a multiyear commitment upon hiring, is now warranted. As the search proceeds, I will remain fully engaged in pursuing excellence throughout the university, and I pledge to do whatever is necessary to support the board and the university during the search.”

Here is the complete statement from UW Board of Trustees President Dave Palmerlee:

“Following a recommendation from President Dick McGinity and, with his full support, the Board of Trustees intends to begin planning a search for his successor in coming weeks.

“I want to first thank President McGinity for his service to the university and the state. He stepped up at an extremely challenging time in UW’s history. Under his leadership, we have made progress on many fronts, including the university’s relationship with the Legislature and the state’s community colleges. He also ushered in a new, positive era of partnership and cooperation between the trustees and the university administration. The board deeply appreciates his service, and he has the board’s full support as the search process moves forward.

“The board has not determined many of the details of the search process, but we are in agreement on one point: We intend for the search to follow an ‘open’ approach, in which finalists are publicly identified.

“I plan to appoint a committee of Board of Trustees members to fashion a recommendation to the full board regarding the details of the search process. I anticipate that the board will ask this committee to receive input from faculty, staff, students, Wyoming citizens and other UW constituencies. Such input will be invaluable for the board throughout the search process as we endeavor to find the best possible person to lead the institution.”


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Chad Baldwin

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