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Engaging our Students

Headshot of President-Elect Seidel

 

Dear UW Community,

Greetings again from Illinois!

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend – one that was certainly well deserved by all after everything we’ve experienced in the last months. I heard you had a bit of snow, which sounds good to me, as it was too hot here to go for the runs that sustain me through all the indoor virtual meetings we now seem to have to stay in touch with each other!

Having virtually celebrated commencement with thousands of students, families and UW community members the weekend before last, Gabrielle and I turned our attention to a much more personal way to get to know some of our students with a virtual social hour last Friday evening with ASUW leadership. It was really terrific to have one-on-one time with this group of students. The conversation was so good that we kept going well beyond a social “hour,” and Gabrielle and I not only had a great time, but we also learned a tremendous amount about who our students are, the leadership they bring to ASUW and our community, and what makes UW great. At the same time, we also learned about some of the challenges students have been facing as a result of COVID-19.

The students were extremely thoughtful, constructive and full of ideas about ways to address some of the difficulties the situation brings with it. Our promise to the students was to continue to listen, and to find additional (two-way) communication channels to learn more about what is working well, and what needs improvement, as we plan next steps for the summer and fall -- and also to communicate more effectively on decisions we take as a university.

Among other things, we noted perseverance of the students in the face of adversity that this has brought. In spite of all of this, the students have been working hard to stay on target and finding good ways forward. One thing that may surprise some of you is how much I myself struggled to stay on target (during a period) as a student. It made a huge difference to me that I felt the university was behind me, and helped me find constructive paths forward. Without that, I would not be coming to Laramie as I am. I look forward to do everything I can to make sure UW provides the best possible experience and supports students for success, just as my university did for me.

Meanwhile, time is getting closer to our big move. Our long weekend was spent in a final push of packing, scanning and more labeling of boxes! Friday (tomorrow) marks the day for our belongings to be packed in a truck to start their journey to Wyoming (we, however, will be spending another couple of weeks in Illinois before we start our journey). Beyond the logistics, I was able to spend some time focusing on Wyoming outreach and had a truly wonderful and entertaining experience of a virtual introduction to Wyoming’s “first son” and his amazing wife – Senator Al and Ann Simpson. It was a conversation full of laughter, tips about Wyoming, and definitely the beginning of what I hope will be a long friendship! I was also able to visit with Governor Gordon and his team to discuss how UW can partner with the state on many issues facing us. And I have continued attending Leadership Wyoming meetings, learning about leaders across the entire state and their approaches to leadership. All in all, it has been a great week!

We continue to be welcomed to Wyoming with such warmth, and it keeps us eager to join you soon!

Best regards,

President-Designate Ed Seidel

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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