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Published February 11, 2021
More than 100 members of the University of Wyoming community have agreed 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 spring.
In addition to a 13-member Strategic Scenario Planning Team, five groups have been assembled to address specific pieces in the planning process. Their work, including solicitation of input from across the university and around the state, will help the administration chart the university’s course for the future.
Strategic scenario planning is taking place concurrently with reviews of academic and other programs of the university in response to significant budget reductions driven by losses of state funding.
“I’m grateful that so many of our students, faculty, staff, trustees and others have been willing to help as we navigate and make decisions to help UW move through and past significant fiscal challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Seidel says. “It is critical that, even as we work to identify programs and services we will no longer be able to sustain, we also identify, prioritize, build and strengthen the most important, future-forward assets of the university to assure that we emerge as a sustainable, thriving 21st century land-grant university true to its Wyoming roots.”
Among the objectives of this process is ensuring that UW provides an educated workforce to grow and sustain critical professions in the region. Areas of focus include maximizing the student experience and rewarding and building excellence among the faculty and staff.
The Strategic Scenario Planning Team, co-chaired by Seidel and Interim Provost Anne Alexander, also includes Faculty Senate Chair Rudi Michalak, a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy; Riley Talamantes, president, Courtney Titus, vice president, and Laura Perez, director of diversity, of the Associated Students of UW; Staff Senate President Chris Stratton, a member of UW’s custodial staff; UW Trustees Macey Moore, of Douglas, and Laura Schmid-Pizzato, of Rock Springs; Mary Ivanoff, chief of staff in the Office of the President; Michael Barker, a professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering; Adrienne Freng, a professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology; and UW Alumni Association Executive Director Keener Fry.
That team’s charge includes helping conduct a strategic listening tour; aggregating themes from other groups and developing a strategic plan framework; identifying and recommending key strategic goals and objectives; and producing the strategic plan for recommendation to Seidel and the Board of Trustees by April 30.
Seidel and Alexander also co-chair the Blue Sky Group, charged with making big, bold and potentially disruptive recommendations about the direction of the university, as well as what it needs to leave behind. Other members are Ivanoff; Gabrielle Allen, a professor and special assistant for strategic initiatives in the Office of Research and Economic Development; Anas Alrejjal, a graduate research assistant in the College of Engineering and Applied Science; Ben Blalock, vice president for institutional advancement and president of the UW Foundation; Nycole Courtney, associate vice president and dean of student success and graduation; Steve Farkas, assistant dean of the College of Business and interim assistant vice president for strategic partnerships in the Office of Research and Economic Development; Ruben Gamboa, a professor and head of the Department of Computer Science; Alyson Hagy, a professor of visual and literary arts; David Jewell, deputy vice president for finance; John Koprowski, dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources; Holly Krutka, executive director of the School of Energy Resources; Bill Mai, acting vice president for governmental relations; Peter Parolin, dean of the Honors College; Ronn Smith, interim associate dean in the College of Business; Dave Sprott, dean of the College of Business; Ed Synakowski, vice president for research and economic development; Neil Theobald, senior vice president for administration and finance; and Dave Williams, a professor in the Department of Botany.
Four other teams are focused on the “four pillars” emphasized by Seidel since he became UW’s 28th president last year -- foundations for innovation and change that will pivot the institution to financial sustainability and accelerate its role as an economic development engine. Those are making UW more digital, more entrepreneurial, more interdisciplinary and more inclusive.
Here are the members of those teams:
Digital Pillar Team -- Robert Aylward, vice president for information technology, and mathematics Professor Bryan Shader, co-chairs; Allen; Synakowski; Theobald; Mohamed Ahmed, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering; Emma-Jane Alexander, manager of the Shell 3D Visualization Center; Rami Alloush, a graduate student in the Department of Petroleum Engineering; Steven Barrett, associate vice provost for undergraduate education; Mike Borowczak, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science; Andrea Burrows, a professor and associate dean in the College of Education; Craig Douglas, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Ivan Gaetz, dean of UW Libraries; Bart Geerts, a professor and head of the Department of Atmospheric Science; Jeff Hamerlinck, director of the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center; Amanda Lehman, an assistant librarian with UW Libraries Education and Research Services; Santosh Madhyanam, director of financial planning and analysis for ASUW; Adam Myers, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy; Ibrahim Muddasser, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry; Suresh Muknahallipatna, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mohammad Piri, Wyoming Excellence Chair in Petroleum Engineering; and Cam Wright, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Entrepreneurial-Innovation Pillar Team -- Danny Dale, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Farkas, co-chairs; Blalock; Ivanoff; Madhyanam; Mai; Sprott; Theobald; Dave Bohling, director of IMPACT 307 in Laramie; Ben Cook, interim associate vice provost for digital, distance and online programs; Roger Coupal, a professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics; Michael Dillon, an associate professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology; Sujan Dhakal, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Computer Science; Tara Evans, vice president and general counsel; Rob Godby, acting associate dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources; Tyler Kerr, makerspace coordinator in the College of Engineering and Applied Science; Patrick Kreiser, an associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing; Joy Landeira, a professor and head of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages; Mitchell Quade, a student in the MBA Program; Anna Radford, a student in the College of Law; Leslie Rush, interim dean of the College of Education; Doug Russell, a professor in the Department of Visual Arts; Cindy Price Schultz, an associate professor and head of the Department of Communication and Journalism; Bob Sprague, a professor in the Department of Management and Marketing; Brittany Stadler, a student in the College of Business; Philip Treick, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance; and Scott Turpen, a professor and head of the Department of Music.
Inclusivity Pillar Team -- Tom Burman, director of athletics, and Emily Monago, chief diversity officer, co-chairs; Michalak; Tasnim Ara, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry; Chad Baldwin, associate vice president for marketing and communications; Tami Benham-Deal, vice provost; Jackie Bridgeman, a professor and head of the School of Culture, Gender and Social Justice; Kim Chestnut, vice president for student affairs; Fredrick Douglass Dixon, an assistant professor in the School of Culture, Gender and Social Justice; Teena Gabrielson, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences; Susanna Goodin, an associate professor and head of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies; Michelle Jarman, an associate professor in the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities; David Jones, dean of the College of Health Sciences; Sam Kalen, associate dean in the College of Law; Richard Kitchen, Wyoming Excellence Chair and professor in the School of Teacher Education; Tom Koczara, associate vice president for human resources; Maeve Knepper, a student in the College of Business; Lydia Nganga, an associate professor in the School of Teacher Education; Ryan Dinneen O’Neill, associate vice president and dean of students; Brent Pickett, dean of UW-Casper; Hannah Rhymes, ASUW chief of staff; Elyshka Rivera, a pharmacy student; Kathryn Tay, a graduate student in political science; Reinette Tendore, program director of the Native American Education, Research and Cultural Center; Christine Wade, an associate professor and head of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; and Kate Muir Welsh, an associate professor in the School of Teacher Education.
Interdisciplinary Pillar Team -- Scott Henkel, director of the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research, and Synakowski, co-chairs; Allen; Alrejjal; Ara; Evans; Koprowski; Krutka; Parolin; Johannes Addido, a graduate student in the College of Education; Jim Ahern, associate vice provost for graduate education; Susan Aronstein, an English professor; Dave Bagley, associate dean in the College of Engineering and Applied Science; Katie Christensen, curator of education and statewide engagement for the UW Art Museum; Karen Bartsch Estes, a professor in the Department of Psychology; Paul Flesher, director of the American Heritage Center; Isadora Helfgott, interim associate vice provost for global engagement; RoseMarie London, deputy secretary for the Board of Trustees; Toby Marlatt, UW Foundation vice president for marketing and communications; Barbara Rasco, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Sandy Root-Elledge, executive director of the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities; Jason Shogren, a professor in the Department of Economics; Saber Smith, ASUW First-Year Senate presiding officer; Hunter Swilling, ASUW chief of legislative affairs; and Jing Zhou, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry.
For more information about strategic scenario planning at UW, go to this website, which will be updated as the process unfolds: www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/plans.
For more information about academic program reviews, go to this website, which also will be updated: www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/program-review.