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President Names UW Strategic Planning Leadership Council Members

September 23, 2016

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols today (Friday) announced the members of UW’s Strategic Planning Leadership Council, which will lead the process to create a five-year strategic plan for the university.

Provost Kate Miller chairs the group, with voting members as follows:

Two deans -- Klint Alexander, College of Law, and Ray Reutzel, College of Education.

One director -- Susan Aronstein, Honors Program.

One department head -- Adrienne Freng, Criminal Justice.

Four faculty members -- Professor Michael Barker, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering; Professor Diane Boyle, School of Nursing; Professor Caroline McCracken-Flesher, Department of English; and Professor Cynthia Weinig, Department of Botany.

Two staff members -- Alison Shaver, accountant, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management; and Allen Tanner, computer support specialist, School of Energy Resources.

One athletics representative -- Matt Whisenant, deputy director of athletics.

One undergraduate student -- Zac Hall, economics, math and statistics.

One graduate student -- Casey Terrell, College of Law.

One Board of Trustees member -- Jeff Marsh, Torrington.

One UW Foundation Board member -- April Brimmer Kunz, Cheyenne.

One UW Alumni Association Board member -- Tim Wilson, Centennial, Colo.

Ex-officio members of the council are Vice President of Institutional Advancement Ben Blalock, UW Alumni Association Executive Director Keener Fry, Vice President for Research and Economic Development Bill Gern, Vice President for Administration Bill Mai, Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Axelson, Athletics Director Tom Burman, Vice President for Information Technology Robert Aylward and Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs Chris Boswell.

The Strategic Planning Leadership Council was appointed by Nichols, following consultation with campus constituency groups, to provide overarching leadership for development of an integrated, comprehensive strategic plan to guide the university for the next five years. The president solicited nominations and received 175 nominations of 117 individuals (some people were nominated multiple times) before the Sept. 9 submission deadline.

“This is a diverse, talented group, representing many constituent groups, that I’m confident will lead the planning process with vision and dedication,” Nichols says. “I am grateful for their willingness to serve, and I look forward to an inclusive, transparent planning process to chart the university’s course for the next five years.”

Following an extensive series of campuswide and statewide discussions, the leadership council is scheduled to begin drafting the strategic plan in January, with presentation of a draft to the campus community and stakeholders in March. The revised plan then will be presented at a town-hall meeting for consideration by the governing bodies of Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and the Associated Students of UW.

Following approval by the Board of Trustees, the plan will be implemented at the start of the 2017-18 fiscal year, with college and unit plans finalized in fall 2017.

A website,, has been established to inform the campus community and the public throughout the strategic planning process.

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