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UW Trustees Adopt Presidential Search Process, Timeline

June 15, 2015

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees will use a consulting firm, two search committees and a “search recruiter” in pursuit of a new UW president, trustees decided today (Monday).

At the recommendation of a six-member planning committee of trustees, and with input from a variety of constituencies, the full board adopted a plan to name a new president by late February. Previously, the board voted to publicize the names and application materials of finalists for the job, and to bring them to campus, and possibly other locations in the state, in late January to mid-February.

“Since the goal of all concerned is to recruit the best possible person to serve as the next president of the University of Wyoming, and recognizing that adjustments to the search process may become necessary, the search committees are authorized to adjust the search process as may be necessary and appropriate,” says the document adopted by the trustees. “These adjustments will be announced to the public. It is expected, however, that the dates selected for the on-campus interviews of finalists will not be delayed.”

Under the board’s action today, the presidential search planning committee -- whose members are Trustees Mel Baldwin, Dave Bostrom, John MacPherson (chair), Mike Massie, Jeff Marsh and Michelle Sullivan -- is charged with selecting a consulting firm to assist with the search. The group also will prepare search documents, including a position description and advertising language. It will recommend a consulting firm and present search documents to the full board for action during its July 14-17 meeting.

The selected search firm is expected to begin advertising the position in August, with a proposed application submission deadline of Dec. 1.

Also at the July meeting, board President Dave Palmerlee is scheduled to recommend members of the two search committees, as well as a chair for each committee, for approval by the board. The first committee will review applications and identify a list of 10-15 candidates who warrant further consideration. The second committee will interview the candidates forwarded by the first committee and select up to five finalists to come to campus for public interviews. The full board then will interview the finalists and select the new president.

The first search committee will be composed of five UW trustees, two faculty members, two staff members, two students, one UW Foundation board member and two external members. Composition of the second search committee will be the same, but there will be no overlap among members of the committees. For both committees, majority votes, including majority votes of their trustee members, are required to advance candidates for further consideration and take any other actions.

In addition to the search committees, the board intends to select a search recruiter to “work with the president of the board, the chairs of both committees and the members of both committees to provide cohesion during the process.” Trustees indicated that former board member Brad Mead of Jackson likely would serve in that role.

“The search recruiter will be an individual with comprehensive knowledge of and experience with UW who will assist the two committees and the search firm in contacting individuals to either apply for the position or assist with recruiting,” the trustees’ document says. “This recruiter will also oversee, in conjunction with the committee chairs, the work of the search firm and serve as an adviser to the chairs.”

The board’s plan also provides for background checks and reference checks of the finalists, including visits to their home institutions by trustees.

While the names and application materials of candidates will remain confidential until the finalist stage, the board says the search “will remain as public as possible,” with periodic media release updates. In addition, the presidential search planning committee continues to welcome input via email at

In March, President Dick McGinity recommended that trustees initiate a search for a new president to succeed him at the conclusion of his contract in summer 2016. Since that time, the presidential search planning committee solicited input on the search process from the public electronically and during two open forums. Additionally, the committee held a series of meetings with UW students, faculty, staff and administrators to seek advice on how the search should be conducted.

The document approved by the board today may be viewed here.

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