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President's Welcome Message

Dr. Ed. Seidel headshot

Dear Friends:

I hope everyone is staying safe, as we all continue to adjust to the disruptions of the new environment we find ourselves in. I could not have imagined the current crisis when I visited Laramie almost eight weeks ago. While Wyoming is facing unprecedented challenges, I recognize that the UW community is also national and global, with many of our UW students and families facing potentially even more difficult times. I want to tell you that the university is doing everything it can to support you at a distance wherever you may be, across the state, or around the world -- for as long as it takes -- and we will be here for you when you return to campus.

Recognizing the current challenges we all face, I nonetheless cannot tell you how excited I am to be selected last month as the 28th president of the University of Wyoming! It is an honor and a privilege to be asked to serve the university and the state in this capacity, and I can’t wait to get started on July 1. Indeed, my partner, Gabrielle, and I have already started to get to know many members of the community as we gear up for our move to Laramie (albeit with social distancing in full force!), so I hope to be able to hit the ground running as president by the time we arrive in late June.

Before I describe how I plan to approach the challenges ahead -- and we are in an unprecedented time in our history -- I would like to tell you a little about Gabrielle and myself. We are both professors, having studied math, physics and astronomy. Gab hails from Barking (yes, like the dog!) just near London, England, and while her accent may give away that she did not grow up in Wyoming, she is a cowgirl at heart, having hiked, camped and skied all across the Mountain West as well as in the Alps. And, while I grew up in small towns in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, I love the outdoors and mountains, am a skiing fanatic, and am always eager for the next snowstorm. Together, we are anxious to get settled in Laramie and to become part of your community.

During my interviews, I made a point to emphasize the university’s central role in statewide economic development, and I meant it! I see the University of Wyoming as the centerpiece of an “all-of-state” effort to strengthen the state’s economy, both in existing areas of importance, such as agriculture, extraction, energy and tourism, as well helping to expand and diversify the “new economy” of the state -- a knowledge- and creativity-based economy growing out of not only rapid advances in technology, computing and data, and entrepreneurship, but also the many creative activities that a university like UW can drive.

To our students and your parents and families:  Students are the heart of the university, the reason we are all here. My top commitment is to you, making sure UW remains focused on its history of accessibility and affordability, while we enhance and enrich our student experience, our diversity, and our connections to companies and communities. We want you to be the best prepared students anywhere to succeed when you leave, to address the grand challenges we face in society, and to be lifelong learners and members of the UW family. I look forward to hearing from many of you on how to best achieve these goals.

To our faculty and staff:  Together, you create the environment that attracts and supports students, and transforms their lives, while you carry out and support research and scholarship that enrich and change all of our lives. I commit to build on the excellence you bring to UW, to listen intently to your advice and to communicate extensively as I endeavor to lead the university. 

To our alumni and greater constituency:  I look forward to getting to know you, and to work as hard as I can to further build UW as an institution you are proud of -- one that not only educates many of the state’s citizens, but also powers an even stronger engine for innovation and economic development that impacts all of Wyoming, reaching every corner of the state. I will be making the rounds to visit with you, as well as celebrating our sports teams just as soon as we can get them going again -- something I know is important to the entire state. Gab and I are both already outfitted for our first game (as you can see below)!

While I plan to energize UW’s role as a leader in advancing the state’s economy and workforce, I know we cannot do it alone. Genuine and deep partnerships with communities, schools, businesses, the Legislature, Governor Gordon and other organizations across the state will be key to our success. There are so many assets across Wyoming to build on, from the strong K-12 school system, to the seven community colleges to the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne. Together, we will make a great team for the state and its people.

The world has clearly changed profoundly since I visited Laramie; the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath will impact our communities for a long time to come. Financial uncertainty will be with our communities for some time, and the university, our donors, the state and federal governments will together do everything we can to support our students and the university community during this period. Online learning will clearly be a major focus of the university going forward; we will redouble our efforts to reach the entire state with educational offerings, both for our students and community members who may need to rethink their career paths as a result of the current economic environment. UW will be there for you, and we will emerge stronger than ever.

Even with such challenges, I could not be more optimistic about the future of the university and the state, nor more excited to be joining the community this summer. I look forward to putting all my energies into making UW the best it can be for the students and the state, and I can’t wait to get started.

Go Pokes!

President-Elect Ed Seidel

 

President Seidel and his partner Gabrielle Allen dressed in various UW apparel.

Contact Us

Office of the President

206 Old Main

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4121

Fax: 307-766-4128

Email: uwpres@uwyo.edu

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