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Groups Appointed for UW Strategic Planning

February 10, 2022

More than 115 members of the University of Wyoming community were nominated to serve on groups charged with developing a university strategic plan to recommend to President Ed Seidel and the UW Board of Trustees later this year.

From that group of nominees, the Strategic Planning Team named this week consists of 65 individuals from across the UW community.

Co-chaired by Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Initiatives Anne Alexander and Vice President for Student Affairs Kim Chestnut, the team primarily will be responsible for carrying out dialogues and workshops with academic and nonacademic units focused on the land-grant mission of providing transformative learning opportunities; providing discovery and innovation through scholarship and creative activities; having societal impact on Wyoming and beyond; and exploring financial sustainability and resourcing UW’s mission.

A subgroup of the Strategic Planning Team, the Strategic Planning Council, will steer the broader group’s efforts, identify priorities from the dialogues and draft the plan itself.

The Strategic Planning Council members are Adrienne Freng, Faculty Senate chair and a professor of criminal justice; Carrie Gomez, a senior program coordinator at UW-Casper; Janel Seeley, an associate lecturer and director of the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning; Alex Kean, deputy vice president for finance and budget; Adam Myers, an associate professor in physics and astronomy; Steve Smutko, Spicer Chair of Collaborative Practice and associate dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources; Tristan Wallhead, a professor of kinesiology and health and an associate dean of the College of Health Sciences; Peter Parolin, dean of the Honors College; Brianna Casey, an academic adviser in Advising, Career Services and Exploratory Studies; Brett Befus, associate vice president for institutional advancement; Chris Maki, president of Staff Senate and manager of space allocation; Tanner Russell, associate director of enrollment management in the College of Business; Hunter Swilling, Associated Students of UW president and a junior majoring in molecular biology; and Tanya Brown and Patrice Parkinson, both Ph.D. students in counselor education and supervision.

“I’m grateful that so many of our students, faculty, staff, trustees and others have been willing to join in this process to build on UW’s strengths and help us move UW toward the vision of a best-in-class 21st century land-grant university true to its Wyoming roots,” Seidel says. “Staff, student, faculty and stakeholder leadership and buy-in will be foundational to our success in building this roadmap for UW.”

The groups are scheduled to meet for the first time today (Thursday), with dialogues and workshops taking place this semester. The drafting phase for the plan is scheduled to begin in April or May, with presentation of the plan to the president and UW Board of Trustees early in the fall semester.

The work of the Strategic Planning Team and Strategic Planning Council follows the work of UW’s Strategic Scenario Planning Team, the Blue Sky Group and the “four pillars” groups organized last year and focused on making UW more digital, more entrepreneurial, more interdisciplinary and more inclusive. Numerous listening sessions were held with various constituent groups at that time.

The new strategic planning effort also comes on the heels of the academic reorganization and new initiatives presented to the Board of Trustees last year -- including the new School of Computing approved by the board in January.

“The strategic planning process will consider how to help carry out the academic reorganization and how to best leverage UW’s new and existing initiatives for the future of the university,” Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman says. “Additionally, many excellent ideas came from the groups organized last year, and their reports and recommendations will be considered in the new planning process.”

In addition to reflecting the four pillars focused on making UW more digital, more entrepreneurial, more interdisciplinary and more inclusive, the strategic planning process will be based on three key themes: institutional excellence, student success and service to the state.

For more information about strategic planning at UW, go to this website, which will be updated as the process unfolds: www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/plans.

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