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UW Strategic Planning Kickoff is Friday

September 19, 2016

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols will announce the members of UW’s Strategic Planning Leadership Council Friday, Sept. 23, during the kickoff event for the process to create a five-year strategic plan for the university.

The event, set for 3 p.m. at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, will include a keynote address by special guest F. King Alexander, president of Louisiana State University.

The public is invited, and UW faculty and staff members will be granted release time to attend. The scheduling of release time should be a collaborative discussion between employee and supervisor to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the unit.

Those who are unable to attend may watch the event, live or recorded, via UW’s WyoCast system. To access the video feed, go to

The leadership council is being 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.

“I was delighted by the response to the call for nominations,” Nichols says. “So many people have strong affection for the university and interest in assuring a bright future for the institution. Having such a deep pool of people from which to select the leadership council is important, as we want to be sure the council includes diverse representation of the campus community and affiliated governing boards.”

The council will be chaired by Provost Kate Miller, with voting members as follows: two deans, one director, one department head, four faculty members, two staff members, one athletics representative, one undergraduate student, one graduate student, one trustee, one UW Foundation Board member and one UW Alumni Association Board member.

Ex-officio members of the Strategic Planning Leadership 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 leadership council is among a number of UW administrative groups scheduled to meet with Alexander during his Sept. 23 visit to the university.

Alexander has been LSU’s president since 2013. Before that, he was president of California State University-Long Beach (2005-2013) and president of Murray State University in Kentucky (2001-05).

The brother of UW College of Law Dean Klint Alexander, King Alexander is a Kentucky native who grew up in north Florida. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in higher education administration with a focus on finance and educational policy analysis, and a Master of Science degree from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England, in comparative educational studies.

Following an extensive series of campuswide and statewide discussions, UW’s Strategic Planning 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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