Geography instruction has a long history at the University of Wyoming and one that
has taken different shapes in response to the state’s changing needs. Currently, a
number of factors make it important to reorganize geography instruction, research,
and service at UW so as to maximize our resources, meet the needs of our students
and assure that the discipline thrives at the UW of the future. The discipline of geography is clearly tied to the University’s vision in the way
that it seeks to understand the social and environmental challenges of today in order
to create a sustainable, diverse and equitable world for tomorrow. The University deeply values the discipline of geography. As such, it will continue
to be taught as an integrated and stand-alone subject to support interdisciplinary
education at UW, to prepare our secondary education teachers, and contribute to a
new suite of high-demand degrees in Geographic Information Science and Technology.
With this reorganization, all tenure-track, tenured and extended-term academic personnel
from the current Geography department will be re-homed into academic units suitable
to their expertise. This process will be governed by the A&S policy on faculty line
transfers. All currently enrolled students will be able to complete their degrees,
or move to new degrees, as they see fit. UW will proudly also continue to house and
coordinate the Wyoming Geography Alliance.
While there is insufficient faculty capacity in the Geography Department for its current
degree programs, this proposal retains faculty expertise, foundational courses, and
the minor in Geography, while simultaneously moving UW in a direction that supports
new programs in spatial sciences. This includes a new proposed Geographic Information
Science and Technology curriculum, among the most employable and in-demand undergraduate
degree nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Faculty with geography expertise across numerous academic units will continue to collaborate
and create new frontiers in research in spatial sciences.
Admissions into all Geography programs, except for the minor in Geography, will be
suspended until further notice.
The Provost has already presented the proposal to the faculty of the Geography department.
Both undergraduate and graduate students currently in the programs have been notified,
as have incoming students who have expressed interest in Geography.