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UW Trustees Advance Education Initiative

June 15, 2015

A University of Wyoming Board of Trustees initiative aimed at lifting UW’s College of Education to national prominence in preparing professional educators is moving forward, following board action today (Monday).

Trustees voted to appoint an interim board to plan the first phase of the initiative and accepted a $500,000 planning grant from the Daniels Fund to support the initial work of the Trustees College of Education Initiative.

The overall objective is to develop a five-year strategic plan “to elevate the UW College of Education to national pre-eminent status in professional educator preparation, ultimately to improve and enhance K-12 education in Wyoming,” says the document adopted by the Board of Trustees today.

Appointed to the interim planning board were:

-- Board of Trustees President Dave Palmerlee, along with Trustees Mel Baldwin, John McKinley, Dick Scarlett and Wava Tully.

-- UW President Dick McGinity.

-- Incoming College of Education Dean Ray Reutzel.

-- Craig Dougherty, superintendent of Sheridan County School District 2.

-- Kate Welsh, head of the College of Education’s Department of Secondary Education.

In addition, ex-officio members of the planning board are Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and UW Foundation President Ben Blalock. Other ex-officio members may be added later.

The planning board is charged with developing a plan for Phase 1 of the initiative. That phase will provide preliminary key personnel requirements, goals and objectives, processes, activities, methodologies, timelines, personnel, benchmarks and budgets to develop the five-year strategic plan. Input will be sought from the governor, the Legislature, the superintendent of public instruction, and the business and K-12 communities.

The interim planning board is scheduled to report on its progress Aug. 17, then submit its Phase 1 plan -- and a strategic plan funding request -- by Sept. 28 for action by the Board of Trustees.

Over the next five months, actions to be taken include:

-- Establishment of a governing board consisting of the presidents of the university and the board of trustees; the dean of the College of Education; and additional members, both external and internal.

-- Recruitment of “leading education leader(s)” to assist in development and implementation of the strategic plan.

-- Recruitment of an executive director to manage and coordinate the initiative in partnership with the Board of Trustees president, the College of Education dean and the governing board.

In conjunction with the UW Foundation, the Board of Trustees intends to submit a strategic plan funding request to the Daniels Fund by Oct. 5.

The Daniels Fund is a major nonprofit organization founded by cable TV pioneer Bill Daniels. Among its objectives is improving the quality of the K-12 education system to ensure increased student achievement.

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