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Committee to Begin UW Student Affairs VP Search

December 12, 2016

A 13-member committee has been appointed to conduct a national search for a new vice president for student affairs at the University of Wyoming.

The new vice president will succeed Sara Axelson, who will retire at the end of the fiscal year after serving at UW for 18 years, the last 11 as vice president for student affairs.

“UW students, for many years, have had a tremendous friend and advocate in Vice President Axelson, and we thank her for her dedicated service to them and the university,” President Laurie Nichols says. “We are committed to finding a talented successor who will continue to place the success of our students as a top priority and help us make the UW student experience the best it can possibly be.”

The search committee is co-chaired by Paula Lutz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President for Information Technology Robert Aylward.

Other members of the search committee are:

-- Benjamin Wetzel, a student from Powell studying chemistry and molecular biology.

-- Courtney Thomson-Lichty, a political science major from Casper.

-- Steve Barrett, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

-- Jo Chytka, director of the Center for Advising and Career Services.

-- Eric Webb, executive director of Residence Life, Dining/Catering and Events and the Wyoming Union.

-- Mike Samp, UW Police Department chief.

-- Joi Thomas, assistant director of athletics for administration.

-- Cecelia Aragon, associate professor and director of Latina/o studies.

-- Nycole Courtney, assistant dean of students.

-- Patrick Moran, director of Campus Recreation.

-- Judy Hay, vice president of student services at Laramie County Community College.

The vice president for student affairs oversees UW units focused on student life, including Residence Life and Dining Services, the Dean of Students Office, Campus Recreation, Student Health Service, the University Counseling Center and the Wyoming Union.

A position description and other information will be posted to the president’s website in the near future. Anyone with questions or input should email Lutz ( and Aylward (

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