The University of Wyoming will hold three listening sessions — two on campus and one in Casper — in September to gather input on its newly launched presidential search, the school announced Thursday.
“This is a chance for people to let us know the desired qualifications and characteristics for a new president,” John MacPherson, a former UW board member and the chair of the presidential search committee, said in a statement. “The input we gather will be valuable to guide us as we consider candidates, to help ensure the best possible fit for the university and the state.”
The first session will be held in Laramie at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, in the university’s union ballroom. A second listening session will again be held on campus on Sept. 24, with a final meeting set for Casper on Sept. 25. All three sessions will be livestreamed.
The university announced earlier this month that it had brought on former president Dick McGinity to help the search as a recruiter, tasked with finding “nontraditional and other potential candidates for the presidency” that the soon-to-be-hired search firm may not discover. The hiring of that firm is set to be announced Sept. 13, according to the university’s press release.
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Under MacPherson, the board installed a committee to guide the first stage of the process. That includes known Wyomingites like former Gov. Matt Mead and former state auditor Rita Meyer. It also includes student leaders, Faculty Senate chair Ken Chestek and Staff Senate president James Wheeler, and several others.
The committee is tasked with sending a list of semifinalists to the board before Christmas break. The board will then whittle that group down to a handful of candidates whose names will be revealed and who will be brought to campus.
Acting President Neil Theobald, who previously was the school’s CFO and before that was president of Temple University, has said he will likely apply for the job. Other applicants, though, are likely to remain anonymous until finalists are announced in several months.
The search is somewhat similar to how Laurie Nichols, who was president until her contract expired on June 30 under mysterious circumstances, was hired. It stands in stark contrast to the private process that brought Bob Sternberg — who lasted fewer than five months — to campus several years ago.