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The longtime dean of the University of Wyoming’s College of Arts and Sciences is retiring at the end of the current fiscal year, and the university has launched an international search to find his successor.
B. Oliver Walter, who has been dean of the college since 1989, oversees 29 academic departments and programs and six support units. The College of Arts and Sciences has the largest enrollment of UW’s academic units, with bachelor’s degree programs in 43 disciplines, 42 master’s programs and 11 doctoral programs.
“After more than two decades of service as dean, Dr. Walter will leave big shoes to fill,” UW Provost Myron Allen says. “On the other hand, the position represents a tremendous opportunity for scholars and teachers who seek the challenge of academic leadership. For this reason, I’m confident that UW will find an outstanding person to continue guiding the college to an even brighter future.”
Allen has appointed a 13-member search committee that includes Arts and Sciences faculty members, two UW vice presidents and the director of the Wyoming Humanities Council. Chairing the group is Bill Gern, vice president for research and economic development.
The committee welcomes applicants and nominations from academia, government and the private sector. Preferred qualifications include a doctorate or terminal degree; a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship or creative contributions and service consistent with a tenured appointment as professor; demonstrated leadership ability; and evidence of strong strategic and managerial skills.
UW is Wyoming’s only bachelor’s and graduate degree-granting institution, with about 13,000 students from 50 states and more than 75 countries. The National Science Foundation recently noted that Wyoming was one of just seven states that didn’t cut funding between 2002 and 2010 for the nation’s 101 public research universities – and that Wyoming led the nation in 2010 in funding per student at $16,986.
“Wyoming’s demonstrated commitment to higher education provides fertile ground for an energetic, creative leader to have lasting impact,” Allen says.
Before becoming dean in 1989, Walter was head of UW’s Department of Political Science for eight years. His tenure as Arts and Sciences dean has included and emphasis on teaching quality; faculty research; student advising; fundraising; student recruitment; study abroad; cultural arts outreach; and hiring of women and minority faculty.