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Published September 19, 2019
A national firm whose specialties include higher education executive searches has been selected to assist in the search for the University of Wyoming’s next president.
Parker Executive Search, based in Georgia, was chosen by the UW Board of Trustees’ search firm selection committee following video interviews with four consulting companies Friday afternoon. That action followed a public listening session and the first meeting of UW’s 16-member presidential search committee earlier in the week.
The search firm will funnel applicants it identifies to the search committee -- as well as any who come from search recruiter Dick McGinity, the former UW president tasked with reaching out to nontraditional and other potential candidates for the presidency that the search firm might not reach. The search committee is charged with then providing a list of the top candidates to the Board of Trustees and its ex-officio members (not including the acting president), based on a majority vote of the committee as well as a majority vote of trustees on the committee.
While the board hopes to receive the list of semifinalists before the holiday break in December, Board of Trustees Chairman Dave True told the search committee last week that such timing is a “target date” and not a “cliff date” -- and that the search committee should take whatever amount of time is necessary to complete its assigned task.
Following the initial meeting of the search committee last week -- which included a review of its charge and the search process, and discussion on how to engage UW faculty and staff -- the group held its first listening session. A number of campus constituents provided input about the search process and the attributes the new president should have. A recording of the session may be viewed at https://wyocast.uwyo.edu/WyoCast/Play/4c39bd7cd7764c13967a8f24a0cd4e811d.
Additional listening sessions are planned Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 4-6 p.m. in the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center on the UW campus; and Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in Durham Hall on the campus of Casper College. Those session also will be streamed on WyoCast. The link for the first meeting is https://wyocast.uwyo.edu/WyoCast/Play/ab7563cb17fd4a19bbfc5c74d1111e8f1d; the second is https://wyocast.uwyo.edu/WyoCast/Play/bd2486bfffd5422484fb1b37a80fe5801d.
Written comments about the desired qualifications and characteristics of the next president also are being accepted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and regular mail at Presidential Search Committee, c/o Office of the President, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY, 82071.
For more information about the presidential search, go to www.uwyo.edu/presidentsearch/index.html.
Once the Board of Trustees has the list of semifinalists from the search committee, trustees will have the option of adding other candidates. That could include candidates who applied but were not selected as semifinalists by the committee, but no candidate specifically rejected by the committee will be eligible for addition by the board.
The names of the applicants and semifinalists will be confidential. But, once the board narrows the list of candidates to three to five finalists, they will be publicly identified and brought to campus for public forums. Public input will be accepted by the board following those forums.
The board will conduct individual interviews with the finalists in executive session, then select the top one or two candidates.
Acting President Neil Theobald is not restricted from applying for the long-term position.
Former Board of Trustees Chairman John MacPherson, of Saratoga, chairs the search committee. Other members are: Megan Degenfelder, who served as president of the Associated Students of UW (ASUW) in 2011-12 and now works for Southland Royalty Co. in Cheyenne; former two-term Gov. Matt Mead; Rita Meyer, former state auditor who is the director of infrastructure investment for Rocky Mountain Power in Wyoming; Doug Stark, Riverton native, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources alumnus and recently retired CEO of Farm Credit Services of America; Board of Trustees members Jeff Marsh, of Torrington, Macey Moore, of Douglas, and Laura Schmid-Pizzato, of Rock Springs; current ASUW President Jason Wilkins, of Cheyenne; law professor Ken Chestek, chair of the Faculty Senate; Staff Senate President James Wheeler, a project coordinator in the Division of Student Affairs; 2018-19 ASUW President Alex Mulhall; Anne Alexander, associate vice provost for undergraduate education; visual and literary arts Professor Alyson Hagy; Associate Professor Matthew Painter, of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology; and Laura Shevling, senior director of financial systems and business optimization.