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UW Trustees Approve Academic Affairs Reorganization

March 23, 2017

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved structural changes aimed at improving student enrollment, retention and completion by bringing campus units focused on student services together with the university’s academic functions.

Additionally, as a result of board action today (Thursday), units of UW’s Outreach School will be redistributed within the Office of Academic Affairs, part of an effort to expand UW’s off-campus offerings.

“The new structure represents a coordinated partnership approach to promoting student success, through a multidisciplinary team that integrates and manages academic preparation; financial, physical and mental wellness; and a sense of belonging for all students,” Provost Kate Miller says. “In addition, it ensures that the university fully embraces the 21st century instructional environment including online, hybrid, distance and outreach teaching approaches, along with strong partnerships with community colleges.”

The changes -- which have an overall objective of fostering academic excellence along with careful stewardship of public funds -- will begin this month, with completion by the end of the current fiscal year June 30.

The reorganization will bring together functions focused on students -- from recruitment and enrollment to graduation and job placement -- under the provost and Office of Academic Affairs.

Functions that directly involve enrollment management -- including Admissions and Recruiting, Registration and Records, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Summer School, and Summer Outreach Programs -- will report directly to the provost through a new associate vice president.

Jeff Edgens, the associate dean overseeing UW’s branch campus in Casper and UW’s regional centers, will report directly to the provost. A Distance Education Support Group will be established, as well, within the new structures. These changes will allow UW to scale to meet its mission to the state, access new revenue sources and provide greater accountability of the Laramie campus in meeting its mission to the state.

“This will boost our efforts to provide a seamless transition across higher education in Wyoming and reinforce our ability to both work with Wyoming transfer students and to provide more educational opportunities to students who choose to pursue their education outside of Laramie via UW distance courses online and other technological delivery methods,” Miller says. “We will examine the possible addition of new degree programs, certificates, endorsements and not-for-credit opportunities that enhance workforce development and reach new populations of traditional and nontraditional students.”

Existing units and programs in Student Affairs and the Outreach School that have an international focus, including the English Language Center, International Programs, and International Students and Scholars, will be brought together under one executive director who will report to the provost.

“This will strengthen our ability to provide students, faculty, staff and extended UW community members access to transformative international opportunities -- and help them share and build the knowledge and skills needed to lead and excel in a globally interconnected world,” Miller says.

The reorganization also will include a proposal to transition UW’s Honors Program to an Honors College, headed by a dean. The Honors College will move from its current location to the Guthrie House, formerly the home of the UW Foundation.

Plans also call for creation of a Graduate School, headed by an associate vice president for graduate education.

Overall, the reorganization is expected to include a reduction in personnel, with no increase in administrative positions.

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