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KEVIN CARMAN, PH.D.

Provost and Executive Vice President


Kevin Carman headshot

Kevin Carman serves as Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of Wyoming. In this capacity, he is the chief academic officer and has oversight of all undergraduate and graduate academic programs. He is a Professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology. Prior to his UW appointment, Carman was the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Nevada, Reno and Professor of Biology from 2013-2020 where he oversaw UNR's nine colleges and schools, the Graduate School, the Division of Extended Studies, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the University of Nevada Press, and the Office of Information Technology. During his tenure at UNR, the university was recognized as an R1 research university, the highest classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and as a Carnegie Engaged University. He championed a freshman academic-orientation program – NevadaFIT – that received recognitions from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) for its positive impact on retention and graduation rates. Carman served on the Nevada Statewide Medical Committee, charged with overseeing the transition to two medical schools in Nevada. He served on the "What's Next Nevada" advisory board, which was charged with identifying and promoting best practices in K-12 education in Nevada. He served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Chief Academic Officers. Prior to his UNR appointment Carman was at Louisiana State University for 24 years where he was a professor of Biological Sciences and Dean of the College of Science for nine years. Carman’s research expertise is in marine and freshwater benthic food webs and the ecotoxicology of contaminants. He received approximately $10M in research funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research, and the National Institutes of Health. Carman is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Letters Straight from the Provost


2024

Dear Colleagues, 

 

As you know, UW recently applied for and achieved the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement this past January, which you can read about here.  We were incredibly proud of the work that went into our application.  We recently were provided with feedback from the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement Team. The letter was brief, very positive, and complimentary.  In the few recommendations for improvement, it was suggested we would benefit from improved data collection and management, and a clearer recognition of engagement in our curriculum, both of which we acknowledged in our application.  I'm very pleased with the feedback and again, send thanks to the many colleagues who made this possible. 

 

I hope to see you at the UW Spring 2024 Convocation on Wednesday, April 24th from 2:30-4:30 pm in the Union Ballroom.  In addition to an address from President Seidel, you will hear from Faculty Senate, the UW Freedom of Expression Community of Practice, and others. 

 

Congratulations to Jaylan Alieve, Ph.D. student in Psychology, who was recently awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in STEM fields. It is an extremely competitive award, and she joins several other Ph.D. students in Psychology and Zoology & Physiology who received this award over the past couple of year.  It is worth noting that a large majority of scientists in the National Academy of Science received this award when they were graduate students…so stay tuned for even bigger things to come!  And one more shout out to our recent UW graduate Maeve Knepper, who was selected as one of the 2024 Donald M. Payne International Development Fellows. Maeve was one of only 30 students to receive this award out of 800 applicants.  And she is only the second UW student to ever receive this award.  This fellowship provides funding for graduate studies and a position in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Foreign Service after graduate school. I'm incredibly proud of our students and grateful for the support they receive from our faculty and staff as they pursue these awards and recognitions. 

 

I'm currently attending the annual WICHE Forum along with Jim Ahern who is wrapping up a year-long participation in the WICHE Leadership Academy.  The Forum is an annual gathering of chief academic officers (AKA provosts) from universities in WICHE states.  It is useful to cultivate relationships with my counterparts throughout the west and very helpful to share experiences on how we are dealing with common challenges that we are facing.

 

Susan and I will be on vacation next week so my next letter will be on April 18.

 

Regards,

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

Per the Standard Administrative Policy and Procedure: Academic Program Review, the Provost’s Office must annually review degree production for all academic programs. Thus, my team in AA has been looking over the data to review low-producing programs as we did last year.  Although the number of programs below the completion threshold is much smaller than last, it does look like there will be several programs that need to be reviewed.  Once the data is ready, we will send information to Deans, who will then have six months to provide a response. We will keep you informed and provide the list of programs for review once finalized.

 

Faculty, instructors, and graduate teaching assistance who teach one undergraduate course in AY 23/24 are invited to participate in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE).  The Office of Academic Affairs and the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning (ECTL), invite you to lend your voice and participate - FSSE collects data related to instructional staff perceptions and expectations regarding student learning and development.  Invitations to the survey were emailed on March 26, and you can learn more here.

 

In my regular meeting with Dean Cass Kvenild today she told me about a couple of very nice recognitions that her Libraries team members have recently received.  Samantha Peter, Chair of UW Libraries Research & Instruction, received the 2024 Librarian Recognition Award, sponsored by the Library Instruction Round Table of the American Library Association Librarian. Samantha was honored for her contributions to the development, advancement, and support of information literacy and instruction, especially in the areas of instructional design and universal design for learning.  The winner of the 2024 UW Libraries Outstanding Staff Award is Tandi Valdez, who works as a Library Associate, Senior in Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  This year Tandi navigated changes in personnel, workflow, and systems in the ILL department. She demonstrated a commitment to outstanding customer service and was a welcoming presence to her new colleagues. She has worked at the UW Libraries for 37 years. Congrats and thank you to Sammy and Tandi!

 

I will be at the annual Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) forum meeting next week with about 60 other chief academic officers from WICHE states. I will look forward to sharing with you what we discuss.  

 

Let’s all go to the AA Friday night and cheer on the Cowgirls as they host South Dakota in the third round of the NIT! 

 

Kevin C. 

Dear Colleagues, 

As many of you know, there are several critical topics being discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting this week. Among them are low-producing programs being recommended for discontinuation, the staff organizational structure and upcoming changes, and the recent budget footnote from the Wyoming Legislature on diversity, equity and inclusion. I’d like to take a moment and say thank you to those who attended the meeting today to provide public comment, or just be here to show support for DEI. Also there was a tremendous turnout of students, faculty, and staff for the open discussion this afternoon. Thank you for your voice, it’s important and was heard.  If you would like to watch more of the BOT meeting, you can find it here. 

It's that time of the semester again when the Faculty Senate puts on its speaker series. This semester's presentation will be given by Professor of Philosophy Brad Rettler titled “Money for the Marginalized”. Focused on the use of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency as "Resistance money." The event will take place Tuesday, March 26th at 4:10pm in the Union Family Room and available via Wyocast here. 

The Donor Relations team at the UW Foundation is currently accepting nominations for the faculty stewardships awards. You can nominate a faculty member here and the due date for nominations is Monday, March 25th. 

Recently, Vice Provost Matt Griswold attended the Art Museum Juried Student Exhibit and presented Academic Affairs sponsored scholarships to Ahmad Ansari, Daisy Bentley, Kane Garrison, and Michael Stoll. The students had excellent art exhibits and we were proud to honor them with a scholarship. Congrats!

Enjoy the sun, it’s been a beautiful week, 


Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

I was able to attend Staff Senate yesterday and always appreciate connecting with the Senators, providing updates, and answering questions. It was especially gratifying to hear their interest in and support of Saddle Up.  I know the Staff Senate is busy organizing this year's Staff Recognition Day (SRD), which is a great time to show up and say thank you to those who help make our institution better.  SRD will take place on Tuesday, April 16th from 11 am-1 pm in the Arena Auditorium and will no doubt be a great event! If you have the time to provide a service for staff, they are looking for faculty volunteers to serve food to staff members.  You can sign up for a 1- or 2-hour shift by reaching out to Christina McDonald at cmcdon19@uwyo.edu

 

I have a couple of shout-outs this week and will start by saying congratulations to Dr. Saman Aryana for being selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for Australia for the 2024-2025 year.   Serving as a Fulbright Scholar is such an honor and brings prestige to our institution. Thank you for your contribution and congratulations, Dr. Aryana! 

 

Additionally, Dr. Jinke Tang was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for a 3-year term.  This committee provides advice and recommendations on scientific, technical, and programmatic issues relating to DOE's Basic Energy Sciences Program including materials sciences, chemistry, biosciences, geosciences, engineering, and underlying competencies such as computational sciences.  Another great honor, and thank you, Dr. Tang for your important service. 

 

Before we know it, spring commencement will be upon us.  If you are attending commencement on Saturday, May 11, and would like to order regalia, make sure you put the order in by March 22. You can find more information and links to order here

 

I know many colleagues will be taking time next week for March break, and some of us will remain on campus. Wherever you are, and whatever you might be doing, I hope you will enjoy it!

 

Brace yourselves for some snow this evening!

 

Sincerely, 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

This weekly communication is a bit earlier in the day than usual, but I wanted to make sure to send a reminder for UW staff to attend the Town Hall hosted by President Seidel today at 1:00pm in the Union Family Room. I attended the Faculty Town Hall yesterday and was appreciative of the questions and discussion.  I look forward to the conversation with staff today. 

 

Last week, I sent a communication to the College of Health Sciences regarding the Interim Dean process. All faculty and staff in the college received an email announcing my recommendation for Interim Dean and a survey asking for their thoughts on the candidate. I’d like to thank everyone in Health Sciences who provided valuable input in the process so far.  We hope to be announcing an Interim Dean following the March meeting of the Board of Trustees. 

 

The John P. Ellbogen Summer Institute is set for May 15-17, and the deadline to apply is quickly approaching. Participants will meet with teachers from different disciplines, engage in highly interactive discussions, share successful teaching strategies and innovations, seek solutions to their own teaching problems and challenges, and much more. You can view more about the summer institute and how to apply here. Applications are due by Friday, March 8th. 

 

Finally, I’d like to take a moment to express my deep sorrow with the loss of 4 students in the past couple of weeks. It’s never easy losing lives, and especially when they are young. Our thoughts are also with the two young men who survived the crash on 287.  I will close this letter by taking a moment of silence in honor of those we lost: 

 

Charlie Clark 

Sabrina Geller 

Carson Muir

Luke Slabber

 

Sincerely, 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

As you may know, the 67th Legislative Session commenced last week, and items are being discussed that may impact our university. Please know that we have great UW representation at the session with Vice President Mike Smith. Although the legislative landscape is fluid and will likely continue to be so until the session ends, Mike is doing a great job of keeping President Seidel’s leadership team informed and engaged. If you would like to know more about the legislation this session, you can view it by viewing this website

 

Next Wednesday, President Seidel will be hosting a Faculty Town Hall at noon in the Union Family Room. This is a great opportunity to hear directly from you, the faculty, and I hope to see many of you there. If you'd like, you can join via WyoCast

 

President Seidel has formally charged a group to work on the physical, environmental, occupational, and psychological safety of our campus. The Campus Safety Working Group will officially convene tomorrow, and is co-chaired by myself, Vice President Parag Chitnis, and Vice President Bill Mai. Our task is to evaluate the mentioned aspects of campus safety and make recommendations and decisions that promote the safety of our UW community. I know these issues are important to you, and I pledge that we will make good progress on this. 

 

Susan and I enjoyed watching the Cowgirls do battle with the Mountain West’s #1 team, UNLV, in the AA last night.  The overtime loss was heartbreaking, but we should all be very proud of their great effort and their ongoing success during the 2023-24 campaign.

 

Until next week, stay safe and warm!

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

I recently met with representatives from Laramie County Community College to discuss how we can continue to build on the relationship and work to improve student success in transfer, advising, and registration between institutions. These conversations are very beneficial toward advancing our partnership with LCCC.  I'm grateful our LCCC colleagues took the time to drive over the hill (on a snowy day…) and meet with our team. If you didn't know, transfer students make up around 40% of our student population, so having a streamlined process and good working relationships with our community colleges is key. Tomorrow I am attending the Wyoming Community College Commission meeting in Cheyenne (weather permitting) and look forward to more conversations on collaborative efforts and moving forward together with Wyoming’s community colleges. 

 

A week ago you received an email from IT about an important change coming for accessing the UW network from home or while traveling.  IT is upgrading to “Duo Verified Push”. Beginning March 18th you’ll need to input a 6-digit code into your smartphone’s Duo app for access. Receiving a phone call for access will be discontinued. If you are using the phone call option you will need to get the smartphone Duo app or obtain a YubiKey.  IT can assist you with either.  Contact the IT Help Desk, at 307-766-HELP or email userhelp@uwyo.edu.

 

As everyone knows, the incredible staff we have at UW are essential to faculty and student success, and we simply couldn’t function without them.  If you would like to recognize an outstanding staff member, consider nominating them for one of the many awards provided during the annual Staff Recognition Day on April 16, 11-1 at the Arena Auditorium.  You can find a link to nominate a staff member by visiting this website. I look forward to this event, and I hope to see many of you there supporting those who support us. 

 

I am meeting this week with faculty and staff in the individual units within the College of Health Sciences to get input on the transition in leadership in the college.  I have thus far met with Social Work, Nursing, Pharmacy, and WIND.  I have been truly inspired by the collegiality, thoughtful reflections, and optimism that I have heard thus far.  I expect to announce a recommended Interim Dean next week and will seek additional feedback from the college before bringing my final recommendation to the Board of Trustees for approval in March.

 

It is February, which means we celebrate Black History Month. I'm very pleased to see the many offerings through Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Thank you to the many colleagues who are making these events and discussions happen on campus. You can find more about the schedule of events

 

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.
 

 
 

 

Dear Colleagues, 

 

It's one of the best times of the year when we honor incredible colleagues with the multiple awards available at UW. 

 

Nominations for our annual faculty awards are currently being solicited with a deadline of February 19th. The Ellbogen, Humphrey, Hollon, and Laramigo awards are a great way to show deep appreciation for the work of our colleagues. You can view more about the process by visiting this website. I'd like to thank the Faculty Senate Recognition Committee for their dedication and time in reviewing the nomination packets and recommending faculty for these awards. A special shout-out to those Faculty Recognition Committee members:

  • Sandy Hsu
  • Macenzie Festa
  • Courtney McKim (Chair)
  • Nancy Peck
  • Jeremy Vandiver
  • Noah Novogrodsky
  • Samantha Peter
  • Li Li
  • Jeff Miller

The nomination deadline for Faculty and Student Awards for Graduate Education is Feb. 16, 2024, at 5 p.m. The Graduate Council will review nominations and select the awardees. You can find information describing the awards and the nominating procedures by viewing this pdf. Each award carries a stipend. Please send nominations, including all letters and supporting materials, electronically, to Sarah Wolverton, swolver1@uwyo.edu.

Over the past few months, I've been meet with department heads/chairs across campus. I have thoroughly enjoyed the informal discussions and opportunities to meet with campus leaders in their spaces and learn more about their goals and challenges. Since November of last year, I've met with over 25 heads/chairs, and I look forward to meeting several more who are on my schedule in coming weeks.  Serving as a department chair/head is arguably the most challenging and important leadership role on campus.  I take great comfort in knowing that we have such a strong and dedicated group of individuals who are leading UW’s academic departments.  If you are a chair/head who hasn't scheduled to meet with me and would like to do so, please contact Kaylin Brooks in my office to set that up. 

 

Regards,

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

This semester, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is hosting gatherings for faculty to discuss equitable faculty workloads with fellow colleagues. These sessions will be led by Vice President for ODEI, Zebadiah Hall and are meant to be an informal and safe space to share personal thoughts on workloads while also having a chance to gain insight on other's opinions.  Multiple session dates and times are offered.  You can sign up for a session by visiting website.  If you have any questions, please contact Kaylin Brooks at kbrooks19@uwyo.edu or call our office at (307) 766-4286.

 

The AI committee needs to hear from you on what AI tools you’re using for your own productivity and for teaching and learning, as well as how comfortable you are with using generative AI. Here’s a link to the survey they’ve launched to gather your feedback – this will help them understand the landscape and formulate recommendations to me about where we should be investing resources and time in generative AI tools.

 

Vice Provost Matt Griswold and team have been working hard across campus to increase the availability of fully online bachelor’s degree programs for online education students. Programs available include accounting, criminal justice, human resources concentration in management, management, marketing, organizational leadership, and sociology (you can view the programs by visiting this webpage).  There will also be wider access to the general studies degree.  More online degrees are coming.  These degrees are a great avenue for UW to connect to students across Wyoming, the country, and internationally.  I would like to thank Matt, his team, and all our colleagues who have worked to offer these opportunities. 

 

Finally, just a reminder about nominations for the Tobin Memorial and Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. Criteria for these awards include academic excellence and achievement, contributions and service to the University of Wyoming, active participation and leadership in co-curricular activities, and demonstrated good character and citizenship. Nomination letters are due by Friday, February 9, 2024.  Please direct questions to studentaffairs@uwyo.edu or call (307) 766-5123 for further assistance. For more information on these awards, please see the Student Affairs webpage.

 

Regards,

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

The Board of Trustees is in session this week, if you would like to tune in for the public session discussions, you can view the meeting by visiting the webpage.

 

We have been keeping up with the ever-changing world of Artificial Intelligence through the AI Working Group that was officially formed on November 1, 2023.  The group has designed an AI resources site you can find by visiting webpage that provides updates on the committee work, upcoming events including a link to register for an AI Training event hosted by ECTL.  More to come on this topic, and a big thank you to the working group.

 

This spring, work will continue with Phase III of the Next Generation University Studies Program.  Co-chaired by Mandy Gifford, Chief of Staff to the Provost, and Dr. Morteza Dejam, Associate Professor in Energy and Petroleum Engineering, a group of Next Generation Education Fellows will chair subcommittees to work on the components of the new draft model, which you can view the pdf.  The subcommittees will be charged with developing definitions of the components, student learning outcomes, and policy recommendations. Campus involvement and feedback sessions will occur in late spring.  A big thank you to our Next Generation Education Fellows who are working on this critical initiative. 

 

Last week I announced the partnership with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD).  This is an excellent resource for faculty and graduate students to take ownership of their mentoring and other professional development.  I would also like to note that our own Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning (ECTL) offers excellent support right here on campus for teaching and learning through robust offerings on campus and online, including learning communities, academic academies, and a variety of other resources.  We are excited to see the extensive use of ECTL offerings as evidenced by the annual report that was just released that you can access by visiting this webpage. We encourage anyone with a teaching role to continue taking advantages of these services. 

 

A shout out to our Cowgirls basketball team, which is currently tied for first in the Mountain West.  Susan and I had a great time watching them win the Border War last Saturday in the AA and they continued their streak with an exciting win against Air Force last night.  Go Cowgirls!

 

Enjoy the rest of the week and weekend. 

 

Regards,

 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to all our students! It's great to see campus buzzing again.  

I am pleased to announce that UW has joined the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) as an Institutional Member. NCFDD is a nationally recognized, independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty, post-docs, and graduate students.

They provide a variety of virtual programs and resources, including monthly Core Curriculum webinars, guest expert webinars and multi-week skill-building courses, dissertation-success curriculum for advanced graduate students, etc. On January 30, our membership will be active. To claim your free Institutional Membership, complete the following steps:

  • Go to this website: https://www.ncfdd.org/join
  • Choose University of Wyoming from the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Activate my Membership”
  • Complete the registration form using your institutional email address (i.e.,@uwyo.edu)
  • Check your email to find a confirmation/welcome email.
  • Click “Activate Account” in the email.

If you have any questions about the membership, please contact my Chief of Staff, Mandy Gifford. If you have any technical questions, please email NCFDD at membership@ncfdd.org.

The Global Engagement Office seeks a senior member of the UW faculty to serve as Academic Chair for the Wyoming International partnership. Launched in 2023 in partnership with Shorelight, this initiative seeks to recruit and support more graduate and undergraduate international students at UW across all colleges and fields of study.  The Academic Chair will work closely with the Vice Provost for Global Engagement and serve as the primary liaison between Wyoming International and University of Wyoming faculty and academic leadership on academic matters. For more information, please contact Vice Provost Isa Helfgott at ihelfgot@uwyo.edu.

The Joint Appropriations Committee recently completed their recommendations for the UW budget.  Overall, their recommendations are very supportive of UW, including $3M for GA stipends, $1M for Library acquisitions, and $5M for upgrading classroom technologies.  Their recommendations will of course be subject to review and revision by the full legislature when it convenes in February.  Stay tuned!

 

Regards,

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

Welcome to a new year and semester! I hope everyone was able to enjoy time with friends and family over the break and has returned rejuvenated and excited for the new term.

 

Just before the holiday break we were pleased to be notified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching that our application to be recognized as a Community Engaged university was successful.  The news was embargoed until this past Monday.  The successful application was the result of a tremendous amount of work by a working group of approximately 40 faculty and staff led by Prof. Jean Garrison.  Thank you and well done!

 

We welcome students back next Tuesday for the first day of classes and the following week we have the January meeting of the Board of Trustees. A link to the January meeting agenda and materials can be viewed by visitng this webpage, keep checking back as items get posted in the coming weeks.

 

If you’re interested in participating with the Freedom of Expression work that will continue this spring, you can sign up to be part of the discussions by visiting this webpage. I look forward to seeing how this develops.

 

On Monday of this week, I joined President Seidel and several members of the UW leadership team as we traveled to Cheyenne to meet with the Joint Appropriations Committee to present our budget proposals.  This annual meeting is one important step in a legislative process.  Over the coming days the JAC will “mark up” our budget proposal and then it will go to the legislature in February for consideration.  Overall, we felt good about the JAC meeting and are cautiously optimistic that UW will fare well in the legislative process.

 

Kudos to English Associate Professor Nancy Small for receiving a $850,000 grant from the prestigious Mellon Foundation.  The grant will support a living public archive of Wyoming stories and will provide a jump start to the incipient Ph.D. in English.

 

Finally, I’d like to welcome Julie Hill to the UW leadership team. Julie recently accepted our offer to be the next Dean for the College of Law. I am grateful for the substantial investment of time and energy that so many colleagues invested in this critical search.  I’m particularly grateful to Marilyn Kite and Scott Beaulier for their leadership of the search committee, and to all those who served or participated in the search process. Thank you all!

 

Regards,

 

 

Kevin C.
 

2023

Dear Colleagues,

 

It’s one of my favorite times of the semester—commencement. I look forward to shaking hands with over 600 UW graduates this coming Saturday. It’s an important day for students and would not be possible without the dedication and work of our faculty and staff. I would like to take this moment to offer my gratitude to all of you. Thank you for all you do to get students to that stage and receive their diplomas. I hope to see many faculty at our ceremony on Saturday, December 16th, 9:30 a.m. at the Arena-Auditorium.  All faculty can process in the commencement ceremony with students, and there will be reserved seating for ALL faculty, whether or not you process in.   If you have any questions regarding parking, please visit this webpage for a detailed map and shuttle information. 

 

The recent search for a new UW Registrar has ended. A longtime colleague, Lane Buchanan has accepted the position of UW Registrar.  Lane has filled this role as interim a couple of times in his tenure at UW, and we couldn’t be more pleased in having him fill it officially and fulltime. Congratulations, Lane!

 

I met today with the Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP) Council and received an update on their progress.  They have taken the extensive input they have received and identified nine potential strategic areas for further consideration.  Those ideas will be pitched to President Seidel’s leadership team in “Shark Tank” presentations in mid-January for further refinement and prioritization.  

 

I want to thank Dr. Morteza Dejam from Energy & Petroleum Engineering for agreeing to serve as co-chair of the University Studies Program (USP) Committee as they move into the final stretch of their deliberations.

 

As we approach winter break, I want to wish you all a safe and wonderful holiday. I will be traveling next week to spend time with my children, so there will be a two-week hiatus from my weekly communications. Take care, and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

 

Regards,

 

Kevin C.
 

 
 

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

The final candidate for the College of Law Dean search is on campus today and tomorrow.  You can view all candidate presentations by visiting this webpage. Please consider providing feedback on the candidates through an anonymous survey. I appreciate your participation and feedback.

 

The Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research will host Dr. Kayla Burd as this year's Sandeen Lecture in the Humanities on Monday, December 11th, at 4:00pm, in Coe 506.  The lecture will also be via WyoCast.  The Sandeen Lecture takes place annually in December.  Each year, the faculty fellows in the cohort of the institute's Humanities Research Group vote to decide which fellow will deliver the lecture; therefore, to be chosen for it is a particular honor, showing the respect of one's peers and showcasing some of the best humanities research by UW faculty.  Thank you to Director Scott Henkel for leading this great program.   

 

I hope to see many faculty at the Fall 2023 Commencement ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, December 16th, 9:30 a.m. at the Arena-Auditorium.  All faculty can process in the commencement ceremony with students, and there will be reserved seating for ALL faculty, whether you process in or not.   If you have any questions regarding parking, please click to see detailed map and shuttle information  

 

I was honored to have lunch earlier this week with Provost Term Professors, Clair Uding, Jill Keith, Kam Ng, and Amanda DeDiego. I enjoyed hearing more about their research projects and progress.

 

We are in the process of subscribing to a professional development resource for faculty and graduate students, NCFDD.  I’ll be providing more information in the near future, but please feel free to visit their website and get familiar with the resources that they offer. 

 

Nycole Courtney and her team at the Student Success and Graduation Hub have been busy moving their offices and operations into newly renovated space on the first floor of Old Main.  I’m delighted to have them as neighbors. Please stop and welcome them to their new home!

 

Stay warm, 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

Our first candidate for the College of Law Dean search is on campus today and tomorrow, with two more finalists coming next week. This is a critical position for UW, and I would encourage you to attend the campus presentations and provide feedback. Here is some information:

  • Hamid Khan Campus Presentation - November 30 - 3:00 PM (BU 123)
    WyoCast
     
  • andre' cummings Campus Presentation - December 4 - 3:00 PM (BU 123)
    WyoCast
     
  • Julie Hill Campus Presentation - December 7- 3:00 PM (BU 123)
    WyoCast

[Edit: 11/27/2023: 

Dear Colleagues,

We are aware of the technical issues with WyoCast during the College of Law candidate presentation with Hamid Khan. While the sound is not perfect, the recording of the presentation can be found by clicking this recording. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will be able to find the time to watch the recording and provide feedback.

Regards, 

Kevin C.]

 

To submit feedback on our candidates, an anonymous survey is available. Thank you for your time on this. 

 

Another critical search for a position at UW is underway. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is searching for the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. You can view the search profile.  Please send it along to colleagues you think might be a good fit.

 

It is time to start thinking about nominations for the Tobin Memorial and Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. UW faculty, staff, and student organizations are invited to nominate graduating or recently graduated students for recognition as UW’s most outstanding graduating seniors. These are the highest awards UW confers on undergraduates. Awards criteria include academic excellence and achievement, contributions and service to the University of Wyoming, active participation and leadership in co-curricular activities, and demonstrated good character and citizenship. Nomination letters are due by Friday, February 10, 2024. Please direct questions to studentaffairs@uwyo.edu or call (307) 766-5123 for further assistance.

 

I’m in the process of meeting with department heads individually to get better acquainted with them and learn about their challenges and opportunities.  This week I enjoyed my conversations with Valerie Thompson-Ebanks, Director of Social Work, Ben Markley, Chair of Music, and Kelly Kinney, Head of English.  

 

Also, President Seidel and I are in an ongoing process of engaging with town hall meetings with colleges and schools.  Yesterday we had a great visit with the College of Health Sciences faculty and staff.  

 

Finally, I enjoyed a box lunch yesterday with about 15 faculty who had recently completed a sabbatical.  The group was a wonderful cross-section of the university and we all enjoyed hearing about the accomplishments and global adventures that their sabbatical leave afforded them.

 

Stay warm, 

 

 

Kevin C.
 

 
 

 

Dear Colleagues, 

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, friends, and loved ones.

Gobble, Gobble! 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

It’s been a busy week with the Governor’s Business Forum on campus and our Board of Trustees meeting that began yesterday.  Here’s just a few, but important updates from me:

 

This afternoon, the Board of Trustees approved several Notices of Intent for new degree and certificate programs.  Formal proposals will be brought back to the Board for approval in May of 2024:

  • B.A. in European Languages, Literature, and Film Studies
  • BAS Organizational Leadership Minor and Certificate
  • Health Leadership Minor and Certificate
  • Agribusiness Leadership Minor and Certificate
  • Nuclear Energy Science Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate
  • M.S. in Pre-Clinical Sciences
  • M.S. in Artificial Intelligence
  • M.S. in Quantum Information Science & Engineering
  • Ph.D. in English
     

The Board also approved a new B.S. in Ranch Management and Agricultural Leadership.

 

Another agenda topic at the Trustees meeting was to provide an update on our low-producing programs that we will recommend for review and potential elimination under UW Regulation 2-13.  Below are the programs identified by Deans and supported by President Seidel and me.  Please note that while we are proposing eliminating the B.A. programs in Mathematics, Statistics, and Geology and Earth Sciences programs, we still have the B.S. programs in each of these. Additionally, as you can see in the new programs list above, we are proposing a new B.A. in European Languages, Literature, and Film Studies that is a proactive recommendation in developing an innovative program in place of the French and German programs. Look for more updates in the coming weeks on how the 2-13 process is going for these programs:

 

College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources

B.S. in Zoology and Physiology

 

College of Arts and Sciences

B.A. in French

B.A. in German

M.A. in Philosophy

M.A. in Sociology

B.A. in Psychology

 

College of Education

Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration

M.S. in Instructional Technology

Ph.D. in Instructional Technology

Ed.D. in Adult & Post-Secondary Education

Ph.D. in Education-Literacy Education

Ph.D. in Education-Mathematics Education

Ph.D. in Education-Science Education

 

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

B.A. in Geology & Earth Sciences

B.A. in Mathematics

B.A. in Statistics

 

Starting tomorrow, and continuing on Monday, the College of Law Dean Search Committee will be interviewing semi-finalists and will be providing a list of finalists that we hope to bring to campus in the coming weeks. We will provide an update on the finalists and dates/times for their campus presentations as soon as we have it.

 

You may recall that I mentioned in last week’s letter that I would be attending the WICHE Commission meeting in California and the APLU meeting in Seattle and that I was looking forward to getting updates on how higher education is embracing the challenges and opportunities associated with Generative Artificial Intelligence.  I came away deeply impressed with the innovative approaches that many of our peer institutions are implementing and with a clear understanding that AI will and is impacting every facet of our institutional mission.  I’ll have much more to say on this topic in the coming weeks.

 

Enjoy the weekend, 

 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

As many of you know, the American Council on Education (ACE) recently announced significant changes to the methodology for identifying universities designated as “Very High”  or “R1” research institutions.  Under the new model, universities with annual research expenditures of $50M or more and that produce 70 or more doctoral graduates will be designated as “R1”.  UW currently has over $120M in annual research expenditures and produces approximately 90 doctoral graduates each year.  Thus, when the new criteria are implemented in 2025, we fully expect that UW will be designated as an R1 institution.  Although I am excited at the prospect of UW achieving this prestigious designation under the new criteria, it in no way diminishes our commitment to move forward as a research university.  You can read more about these changes in this article.

 

We have had a change in leadership in the UW Staff Senate. I’d like to welcome new President Adam Comeau and Vice President Tori Henderson. I look forward to working with both of them.  I also want to offer my sincere gratitude to Tim Nichols for his incredible work over the last year as Staff Senate President.

 

Keep your eye out for the range of events happening on campus next week in recognition of International Education International Education Week, which allows us to highlight and celebrate a broad spectrum of international education. At the UW, we take the opportunity to celebrate our international students and community in Laramie and throughout Wyoming and our UW student and faculty researchers doing work throughout the world.  It is also an opportunity to highlight our Education Abroad program that brings students to Wyoming from international universities and gives UW students opportunities to pursue transformative international study and internship opportunities. Events for the 2023 International Education Week can be found by visiting this webpage.  

 

A couple of shout-outs this week:

 

Congratulations to Dr. Bledar Bisha, who was recently appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF). Thank you for your service on this critical national committee, Bledar!

 

Kudos to Dr. Ben Markley, Professor and Department Head of Music, for his outstanding presentation for the Faculty Senate Speaker Series this week on renowned American jazz pianist, Cedar Walton.  Dr. Markley provided a glimpse into the legacy Cedar left behind – both as a pianist and composer/arranger.  Those who attended were treated to several performances of Cedar’s music, including a jazz standard, “Boliva”.  Dr. Markey was accompanied by faculty from the Music Department, including Dr. Seth Lewis on bass and Dr. Andy Wheelock on drums.  Thanks to these outstanding faculty for their pursuit of excellence.

Dr. Markey playing musical instrument

I’m attending the WICHE Commission meeting in Riverton, CA this week, and then will hop over to the APLU conference in Seattle this weekend. I’m especially excited to attend a special session on Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education at APLU. It should be informative and timely, especially since I have formally established the AI Working Group. Chaired by Vice Provost Steve Barrett, the following colleagues have agreed to serve:

  • Brandon Roberts (Faculty Senate and Zoology & Physiology)
  • Alec Muthig (Information Technology)
  • Anne Alexander (Economics)
  • Lars Kottloff (Computer Science)
  • Noah Jones (College of Law Student)
  • Mia Williams (Education)
  • Kathryn Senn (UW Libraries)
  • Megan Jones (Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning)
  • Paden Knull (ASUW)

Have a great weekend!

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

If you’re inbox looked anything like mine yesterday, you might have noticed that it’s UW’s Annual Giving Day that will run until noon today. There are so many wonderful opportunities to support great programs that enhance opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.  I am a matching donor for our Saddle Up campaign and will make a shameless plug for that opportunity. If you feel compelled to and able to contribute to any of the many worthy causes, you can check out the general page.

 

The School of Computing (SoC) is seeking applications for the second year of Faculty Fellows Awards. The awards support research, teaching, and engagement activities connected to advancing computing across the university. You can see more information that contains details about the criteria, process, dates, and last year’s winners.

 

Next week, I will be travelling (weather permitting) to Riverton with VP Kim Chestnut and VP Zebadiah Hall to visit Central Wyoming College and meet with President Tyndall and his Cabinet, as well as tour the campus. I’m looking forward to strengthening our relationship with the community colleges and discuss how we can better support transfer students and Native American students.

 

Next Wednesday, our search committee for the next dean of the College of Law will meet to review applications and select candidates for first-round interviews, which will be on November 17th and 20th. Our search firm has indicated a strong pool of candidates, and I look forward to meeting the individuals selected by the committee for first interviews.  Our goal is to bring finalists on campus the last week of November.

 

I hope you can find some time in the coming week to attend one or more of many great events being held on campus. The Fall Faculty Senate Speaker series will be on November 7th at 4:10 PM in the Union Family Room or via WyoCast. This series will highlight the life and music of Cedar Walton, featuring a presentation and performance of Jazz music by UW Department of Music Professors Dr. Ben Markley, Seth Lewis- Bass, and Andy Wheelcock- Drums.  Next Friday, November 3rd, our campus is hosting “Good Medicine” a cultural experience event. You can learn more about this event by visiting this webpage.

 

Susan and I will be heading to Tampa, FL next Wednesday to attend our son’s wedding so I’ll be a bit distracted.  Tami and Mandy have agreed to provide a guest version of SFTP, so keep an eye out for that!

Wishing you a relaxing, wintery weekend, 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues, 

 

It is unfortunate that an internal document that is part of an established UW process for dispute resolution was provided to the media earlier this week. Normally, the university’s administration would not comment on an ongoing process or investigation; however, due to the extreme nature of the allegations and the inflammatory language used, President Seidel and I find it necessary to not only support the process of faculty conciliation, but to also support the dean of the College of Health Sciences with a public statement.

In the confidential document, concerns over Dean Jacob Warren’s leadership have been presented. Separate from the process outlined in University Regulation 2-2, a number of these claims have already been reviewed by the appropriate campus offices and entities. To date, there have been no violations of any university policy, no unethical conduct, and no findings of wrongdoing by the dean.

Specifically:

Claims of nepotism regarding the dean’s spouse have been reviewed by the University, with no violations found.

Claims regarding improper pursuit and administration of grants have been reviewed by the Office of Internal Audit. In response to that review, the Office of Academic Affairs has worked with Dean Warren and have established and are executing a standard conflict of interest management plan (required by university policy for all spouses that have supervisory authority).

Claims regarding research misconduct have been reviewed by the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance, with no violations found.

Claims regarding abuse of power and a hostile work environment have been reviewed by UW Human Resources, with no violations found.

If additional information arises in support of these claims, the university will certainly review it. Legitimate concerns should always be reported through the appropriate channels and will always be reviewed following the university’s established processes.

Meanwhile, the dispute resolution process under Regulation 2-2 will continue moving forward regarding Dean Warren’s interactions with faculty members. No conclusions have been reached on these matters, and further investigation and analysis will take place for those issues that are covered under the regulation. Dean Warren has committed to participating in this process and, if there are valid disputes, to work through those in good faith.

While some matters remain to be resolved, one thing is clear: There is a need for improved communication among all of the parties involved in this conflict. The administration has encouraged and will continue to push for such communication.

The president and I have and will continue to be open to hearing from faculty and staff members who have concerns. At this point, it is critical that we trust in the process, and with that turn our focus on supporting each other and above all our students with the good work we do every day.    

 

Sincerely, 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

You might have noticed that there was no letter from me last week.  I confess that Susan and I took a few days to go hiking in Colorado and enjoy the beautiful aspens.  It was a nice break but I’m glad to be back in the saddle!

 

Earlier this week, I attended a Faculty Town Hall hosted by President Seidel. The conversation with those in attendance was very open and honest, and I'd like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the discussion. The discussion was lively at times, and very informative on topics such as faculty presence on campus, recruitment and retention of faculty, and even touched on how we can make our campus more inclusive by implementing small structural changes, such as more gender-inclusive restrooms and lactation rooms in our buildings.  I deeply appreciated the conversation and hope to continue in more open dialogue sessions in the future. 

 

I hope to see many of our staff at President Seidel’s Staff Town Hall next week on October 18th from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Union Family Room.  If you are unable to attend in person, you can join via WyoCast.  I’d encourage you to fill out the survey as well.

 

The search committee next Dean for the College of Law worked hard to develop a position description, and our search firm, Summit Search Solutions has been contacting hundreds of potential candidates. The application process closes on October 20th, and the search committee will meet on November 1 to review applications and select candidates for first-round interviews.

 

As you likely know, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s tragic death.  I was able to join the “Laramie Then & Now: Remembering Matthew Shepard” lunch yesterday, which included a great panel discussion by members of UW and Laramie communities.  It was inspiring and deeply touching to hear the panelists reflect on how the loss of Matthew impacted them personally and how it inspired what has become a national and international movement to promote social justice. President Biden issued a powerful statement in remembrance of Matthew, which also honored his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard for the important work they have done.  The crisis in Israel and Gaza that is unfolding is a stark and crushingly sad reminder that there is still much work to be done here and throughout the world to promote social justice and true empathy for our diverse world.  

 

 

Sincerely, 

 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

Last week, the Board of Trustees Budget Committee considered a course-sharing vendor called Acadeum and expressed its comfort with UW setting variable registration rates for unfilled course seats that could be made available to students at other institutions. Our potential university-wide consideration of a partnership with Acadeum hinged on this flexibility.  We will now begin our shared-governance efforts to analyze the benefits and challenges of utilizing the functionality Acadeum offers.  Our first consideration would be the possibility of making unfilled seats in online classes available to a broader market.  A second consideration would be the possibility of making online courses from other Acadeum-affiliated institutions available to UW students.  Vice Provost Matt Griswold will be leading the discussion regarding Acadeum.

 

Last Friday, I was honored to meet with a small group of retired faculty members to discuss the idea of starting a UW Retired Faculty Association. They were enthusiastic about the idea, and provided great input into how we might move forward with this. I will keep you updated as these conversations progress.

 

This week, I was able to notify two of our colleagues that they were selected to participate in the Academic Management Institute (AMI) for women in higher education. Congratulations to Corrine Knapp and Raya Hegeman-Davis!

 

Now that the semester is underway, President Seidel and I are continuing our ongoing sequence of town-hall meetings with colleges and schools.  On Monday we traveled to Casper to meet with UW Casper faculty and staff and on Tuesday we met with School of Computing faculty and staff.  Both meetings were productive, collegial, and quite enjoyable.  We also had a town hall scheduled with Health Sciences but an unexpected scheduling conflict necessitate that we reschedule at a future time.

 

A final shout-out to the Western Thunder Marching Band, as they have been invited to perform in the 2025 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California January 1, 2025. Congratulations to WTMB Associate Director Joe Carver and all our talented students. We look forward to watching you!

 

Wishing you a warm fall homecoming weekend, 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

We are in day two of the Board of Trustees September meeting, and quite a few important topics are being covered.  I would encourage you to tune in

 

I delivered the report on low-producing programs, which I mentioned last week.  The Trustees of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee had some good questions, which we will address in the process.  The next steps in this process will be to have more discussions with deans, departments, and other campus constituents to produce recommendations to the Board of Trustees at their November meetings.

 

Also shared in our meeting with the Trustees this week was our Fall Census Day numbers on enrollment. Below is a snapshot of where we stand this week.

 

graph showing enrollment statistics

 

We also reported to the Board on this year’s version of Saddle Up.  Overall, it appears that Kim Chestnut, Nycole Courtney and their team orchestrated an excellent program this year.  Feedback from students, faculty, trustees, and external constituents have been very positive.  Of course, we will be collecting feedback and looking for opportunities to make further refinements in our pursuit of continuous improvement.  I’m also pleased to share that we have compelling evidence that last year’s Saddle Up had a positive impact on student retention.  The fall-fall retention rate for Saddle Up participants was 77.7%, which compares favoravbly to the previous year’s retention rate of 75.4%.  It is particularly impressive given that overall retention of returning students is down year over year.  It is worth noting that the fall-fall retention rate of the 55 students who didn’t participate in Saddle Up was 54.5%.

 

Finally, a very important discussion that occurred in our Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting was around the recruitment and retention of Native American students.  While we have support and strong passion for recruiting and retaining Tribal students to UW, we have much work to do.  Our united teams in Academic and Students Affairs is committed to working on a plan to support more engagement with the university from tribal communities and strengthen the support to see our Tribal students to graduation.

 

Wishing you a restful weekend,

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

I'd like to start this week with an important message about our Board of Trustees meeting next week.

 

In January 2023, per university policy (view document) I requested a review by colleges and schools of programs that were identified as “low-producing” (those that average fewer than 5 graduates per year for undergraduate programs and 3 graduates per year for masters programs, over a 5-year period).  The Office of Institutional Analysis (OIA) provided data on all UW degree programs, which revealed that 26 undergraduate and 34 graduate programs were below the minimum thresholds.  On January 31, I provided the list of identified programs and the data to the Deans and made public the list of programs on the Academic Affairs website, view the document. I asked them to provide narratives for each low-completion program that included rationale to either continue a program or recommend reorganization, consolidation, reduction, or discontinuance of a program pursuant to UW Regulation 2-13.  Reports from the Deans on these programs were due July 31, 2023.  At our September board meeting next week, I will review with the Trustees the recommendations from the Deans.  President Seidel and I will seek additional input before providing final recommendations to the Board in November.

 

With everyone back on campus, we will have students, faculty, and staff who get sick with colds, the flu, and of course COVID is still very much with us.  There have been some recent inquiries about our COVID-19 policy, so I'd like to share that information here. 

 

In April 2023 a Standard Administrative Policy and Procedure (SAP) on COVID-19 Mitigation Measures was approved.  The direct link to the SAP can be found by visiting this webpage.  Please remember that if a student tests positive for COVID (and notifies the instructor, which they are not required to do), they will need to follow Wyoming Department of Health guidance (link provided website), and if students need an excused absence, they should follow UW’s attendance policy.  Please remember that a student’s COVID status should not be shared with the class, as that would violate FERPA. Take care and use common-sense strategies to help reduce the spread of illnesses.

 

Next week, the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning (ECTL) will host Peter Felten and Leo Lambert, authors of Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College, on campus for various events on September 19th. This will include a Relationship-Rich Teaching & Learning Academy from 9-11:50 a.m., a keynote lunch with Felten and Lambert from noon to 1:30 p.m., and book group dialogues from 2-5 p.m. To RSVP to Tuesday’s lunch please visit this webpage.  For questions about the visit, please contact Janel Seeley, Executive Director, ECTL (jseeley1@uwyo.edu).

 

I'd like to sign off with a shout-out to the Honors College for hosting a study-abroad fair last week. Tobin House was packed with students hearing from faculty and other students who have either led or traveled on study-abroad trips. Below is Honors student Gianna Rose speaking about her experience studying in Singapore and Malaysia.

honors presentation

If you made it this far, thank you for sticking with me… and enjoy the upcoming weekend!  

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

 

The beginning of the semester is always a busy but joyous time. I enjoyed serving up pork sliders with Vice Provost Tami Benham-Deal at the Welcome Back celebration in Prexy's last Thursday (and VP Jim Ahearn was dishing out jalapeno poppers to my right). The event was a well-attended event, and the weather was spectacular.

Provost Kevin Carman and Senior Vice Provost Tami Benham-Deal

 

 

Yesterday, President Seidel hosted the State of the University Address.  If you were unable to attend or view live on WyoCast, you can watch the recording.  As I mentioned in my remarks, I will be establishing a task force to address Artificial Intelligence and its use at UW, which includes guidance for students, as well as training and development for faculty and staff. We have a lot to learn from and about AI, and I'm excited to see what the task force recommends. More to come on the establishment of the members and charge, but please let me know if you are interested in serving on the task force.

 

I also mentioned yesterday that we would be exploring the establishment of a Retired Faculty Association.  We have reached out to a small group of retired faculty to gauge interest in such an organization.  The initial response is quite encouraging.

 

Tomorrow is the last day to submit comments on UW's Free Expression recommendations. I was honored to be involved in this work and look forward to seeing what we implement from the report. Please take a few minutes and submit comments.

 

Finally, I'd like to give a shout-out to our faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance, who are hosting an incredible artist-in-residence this week. The David Dorfman Dance Company will be hosting a series of exciting public events and will be engaging with our students, faculty, and community. The gala performance will be this coming Sunday, at 2:00 pm in the Arts and Sciences Auditorium. A special thanks to Drs. Nevin Aiken and Adrienne Freng for collaborating to bring this inspiring performance art to UW.

 

Theature and Dance performers

 

Regards, 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

It is wonderful to see students, faculty, and staff back on campus and energized for the fall semester. I hope to see all of you at the President's Welcome Celebration this afternoon at 5:00pm. I will be serving up some food, so stop by and say hello!

 

A few updates from me this week: 

 

As you know, we have been working with Deans on the CPM process for this year. This isn't an easy task, as we know each college/school is facing challenges related to staffing. However, I'm pleased to report that we were able to allocate 42 positions this year, and that does not include many positions that were allocated outside of the CPM process throughout the year. Each Dean has received the list of positions and will be launching the hiring process soon. My office has the full list of approved positions on our website.  

 

Last spring, a new Standard Administrative Policy and Procedures (SAPP) for Conducting Tenure and Promotion was reviewed by the university community, and the final version, including some significant changes, was approved and posted on June 26, 2023.   Our Faculty Affairs team will be hosting a drop-in Zoom session this coming Tuesday (September 5) from noon to 1 p.m. for faculty, staff, and administrators who have questions about the mid-probationary, tenure, promotion, and fixed-term rolling contract review process. The Zoom Meeting ID is 926 0829 7374. 

 

To add in a couple of shout-outs this week: congratulations to a few of our colleagues in the Economics department for their recent contribution to the journal Science. Great work by Todd Cherry, Jacob Hochard, Stephen Newbold, Jason Shogren, Linda Thunstrom and Klaas Van't Veld. I'd encourage you to read the article. Another kudos goes to our UW Meat Judging team and their participation in the Intercollegiate Meat Judging conference and contest held in Wagga Wagga. Our UW team was the only representative from the United States and students walked away with incredible lifetime experiences, many awards (including my neighbor, Kara Reynolds, who won 2nd place in the Commercial division), and even a few job offers. A big thank you to the dedicated students and coordinator, McKensie Phillips for representing our university. 

 

Just another reminder that all faculty and staff are invited to UW’s Fall 2023 State of the University Address on Wednesday, September 6, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. We will hear from UW leadership including Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and ASUW. Plan to stay for snacks, a raffle, and conversation during the social hour in Poke’s Pub from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Individuals needing accommodations to attend may contact the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at (307) 766-6672. You can also watch it on WyoCast

 

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

There is no shortage of updates to cover this week: 

 

I have been all over campus this week, attending classes, lunches, and events with our Saddle Up students, and meeting new faculty as they arrive on campus.  President Seidel, Sr. Vice Provost Benham Deal, and I welcomed over 65 new faculty to UW this week (see picture below).  We had a fun time discussing the misconceptions (and truths!) about our great state of Wyoming. I was very impressed with the caliber of faculty we have brought in as new colleagues. I especially enjoyed spending some time with four new faculty who will be joining Visual Arts and one new member of the Psychology department. Please join me in welcoming them to our beautiful campus!

 

new faculty attend orientation

 

I would like to thank our outstanding Faculty Affairs team of Kaylin Brooks, Ariel Ivanoff, and Stephanie Stark for their excellent work in preparing for and their support during the new-faculty orientation, the numerous academic leaders who participated, and other members of our university community who spent time with our new faculty during the resource fair.  You showed them what a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive university we can be.

 

The Libraries awarded alternative textbook grants to six faculty members to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes in 2023-24.  Tiger Robison (Music), Cedar Wiseman (Mathematics & Statistics), Margaret Holland and Greta Maxfield (Social Work), Katelyn Kotlarek (Communication Disorders), and Sandra Leotti (Social Work) all received grants. The open textbooks and materials they use will save UW students more than $30,400 per semester.  Faculty interested in applying for grants for spring 2024 can find an application and instructions here

 

UW is part of a recently funded NSF I-Corps Hub, led by North Dakota State University. This multi-year grant, with UW faculty leads Dr. Ramsankar Veerakumar and Dr. Erika Belmont, trains current and future entrepreneurs in the development and commercialization of technology-based business ideas. The Hub is actively seeking and recruiting applicants for future cohorts and you can find more details about the program here

 

Applications for the fourth year of the UW Academic Writing Fellows (UWAWF) program are now being accepted. I highly encourage you to apply to this program that promotes greater scholarly productivity through mentoring, retreats, writing groups and other community- and knowledge-building activities. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Sept. 5 and the program will accept up to 10 participants. You can learn more here or send an email to UWAWF Program Coordinator, Rick Fisher. 

 

Next week, all faculty and staff are invited to UW’s Fall 2023 State of the University Address on Wednesday, September 6, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. We will hear from UW leadership including Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and ASUW. Plan to stay for snacks, a raffle, and conversation during the social hour in Poke’s Pub from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Individuals needing accommodations to attend may contact the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at (307) 766-6672. You can also watch it on WyoCast here

 

Kudos to Steve Scott in OIA for being named the UW Staff Employee of the Second Quarter.  Steve is just one floor above me in Old Main and I can confirm that he is a great member of the UW team. Congratulations, Steve!

 

Finally--welcome back to our returning faculty! I hope you all had restful and rejuvenating summers and I look forward to seeing you on campus soon. 

 

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

Beginning tomorrow, we welcome over 1400 freshmen to campus to start their journey at UW with a week of Saddle Up.  Our unique college prep camp will introduce students to many aspects of college life that will help them be successful as they launch into the semester on August 28th. Most importantly, they will learn how to be successful in a college class.  I am attending many events and a couple of classes and will provide an update next week. 

 

In my message to campus the week of July 3, I provided information on the challenges we are experiencing in enrollment. I am happy to report that while we still have work to do, early projections are showing this year is now slightly up in total enrollment relative to last. Although the enrollment picture has improved across the board, we still are facing significant challenges with non-resident students.  Our Board of Trustees approved one-time funding of 1.5 million to use in reinforcing our recruitment and retention efforts. These funds are a first step at strengthening our marketing, recruitment, and retention and we are deeply grateful for the support and commitment of our Board. 

 

Just this afternoon, I emailed all our college deans with information on the positions allocated through our CPM process for this next upcoming recruitment year.  In total, we are able to fund 43 new positions.  I plan to announce those positions in my message next week.

 

Finally, I'm looking forward to seeing faculty return to campus next week.  Reporting date for new faculty is Tuesday, August 22nd, and for returning faculty is Thursday, August 24th.  See you all around Prexy's soon!

 

Regards, 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

It's hard to believe we are in mid-August and that the fall semester is just around the corner. 

 

One week from tomorrow, we will welcome our new freshman class to move in and attend our second season of Saddle Up.  I’m looking forward to meeting students and engaging in some of the events and classes planned for the week.  A special thank you to all of our faculty, staff, and students that have worked hard to organize Saddle Up this year. 

 

Our UW colleagues and students continue to impress me.  Dr. Christopher Bastian was recently inducted as a Fellow of the Western Agricultural Economics Association (WAEA).  Dr. Bastian is honored for his decades-long contributions to WAEA and the discipline of agricultural economics. Graduate student Sydney Schmidt has been selected as a participant in the 2023 MLA Public Humanities Incubator Program. Sydney is one of 12 graduates in the country who were selected to participate and ultimately present at a convention in January.  Congrats to both Dr. Bastian and Sydney! 

 

This morning I was pleased to attend the 2023 Advising Conference on campus. Attendance was excellent and I was impressed by the professionalism and genuine enthusiasm of UW advising team.  This afternoon I enjoyed an engaging presentation by Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, Associate Provost for Academic Advising at the University of Oklahoma.  She made a compelling case for the importance of “coaching” students and getting to know them as unique individuals with goals, challenges, and aspirations before turning to the mechanics of getting students enrolled in courses.  Dr. Sullivan had us pair off and practice “coaching” on each other.  In this exercise I had the good fortune of meeting and sharing a few minutes with Kristin Lewis who serves as the academic advisor for professional graduate programs in the College of Business. 

 

This evening, we say farewell to a great colleague, UW Libraries Dean, Ivan Gaetz.  Ivan is retiring as of tomorrow. Thank you, Ivan, for all your contributions and leadership at UW over the years, and enjoy retirement! 

 

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to tour the National Center for Atmospheric Research computing facility in Cheyenne.  As you may know, the State of Wyoming supports this facility and UW faculty have access to the super-computer resources that reside there.  I confess that I was absolutely amazed by the quality and sophistication of the facility.  My understanding is that tours are available to anyone who is interested.  More information is available on their website.

 

Nicole Crawford and her team are particularly busy this week as the American Alliance of Museums is visiting the Art Museum as part of their reaccreditation review.  It is sometimes easy to forget that we have amazing facilities and resources in our own backyard.  If you haven’t visited the Art Museum lately, I encourage you to do so!

 

Speaking of sometimes hidden gems, I want to give a shout out to the UW Psychology Center and in particular Cynthia Hartung, Tara Clapp, and Anne Stevens for the good and important work that they do.  The UWPC provides individual therapy for members of the UW community as well as the broader Laramie community.  Their services are a critical component of our commitment to promote mental health for all.

 

Kudos to Julie Sheldon and graduate student Ally Quinn Parmely on producing a great newsletter for the Graduate School. The July edition provides a wonderful overview of resources for promoting comprehensive “Wellbeing” for graduate students but the resources and guidance should be valuable to us all.

 

If you happen to be in the Cody area this summer or early fall, I encourage you to check out the Alfred Jacob Miller exhibit at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW).  Several of our own paintings from the UW-American Heritage Center are included in the exhibit, including the featured painting in the picture below.  The exhibit will remain on view through October 22, 2023.  Special thanks to Paul Flesher, Professor and Director of the AHC, for spearheading this important partnership between UW and the BBCW.

 

Finally, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the Office of DEI, and especially Courtney Titus and Maia Marces, for their commitment and endless hours of preparation to make this year’s Black 14 Social Justice Summer Institute a success.  This year, 26 students (up from 6 students last year) will be participating in the institute, which will be held on campus tomorrow through August 4th.  If you are on campus next week, I encourage you to attend the ‘watch party’ on August 3rd at 7 pm in the UW Student Union where some of the students’ work from the week will be highlighted.

 

Susan and I will be away on vacation next week so my letter will be taking the week off as well.

 

Regards, 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

On Sunday I traveled to Davis, CA for the annual APLU (Association of Public and Land Grant Universities) CAA (Council on Academic Affairs) meeting. I used to attend the meeting regularly before the pandemic, but this was the first time I had attended in several years. The attendees are almost exclusively provosts from major public universities. I enjoyed reconnecting with many former colleagues and friends and getting to know several new ones.

 

We kicked off the meeting with a wonderful session on “Academic Freedom and Free Speech,” which was led by none other than Howard Gillman and Erwin Chemerinsky, authors of the classic treatise “Free Speech on Campus.” The discussion was particularly timely given UW’s current engagement with the development of our “Freedom of Expression, Intellectual Freedom, and Constructive Dialogue” document.

 

The meeting also featured a great discussion on the workforce challenges that we face in the wake of the pandemic. A primary theme of this dialogue was finding ways to incorporate things we have learned about the value of flexible work arrangements while also understanding the need to have a physical presence on campus that cultivates interpersonal relationships between faculty, staff, and students. I was proud to be able to report that at UW we have given careful thought to this balance and provided guidance in our recently updated Pythian Paper on Expectations for Faculty Members’ Presence on Campus.

 

No gathering of provosts would be complete in 2023 without a discussion of AI and its impact on higher education. It will be good, bad, and occasionally ugly, but it is here, and it will fundamentally change virtually every dimension of our lives and the fulfillment of our institutional mission. While we have developed some basic guidance on the use of AI as it relates to student academic misconduct, this is just the beginning. This fall I will be looking to assemble a task force to provide recommendations on how we can best provide ongoing training for faculty, students, and staff to help them make creative use of the many powerful AI technologies that are emerging while also protecting the integrity of our teaching and scholarly missions. Our discussion on AI was relatively brief, but it will constitute a major component of the national APLU meeting in November.

 

A shout out to Anthropology Assistant Professor Briana Doering for receiving a. NSF CAREER award entitled “Reconstructing Subsistence, Diet Breadth, and Paleoclimate in Interior Alaska during Social and Climatic Transitions.”  These awards are extremely competitive, especially in the field of anthropology. Well done Dr. Doering!

 

I had the opportunity to visit briefly with the Staff Senate during their retreat earlier this week. I think it was the first time I had the opportunity to physically be in the same space with all of the senators. I have been and continue to be so impressed with the thoughtful engagement of the Staff Senate and the wonderful team members they represent. Hats off to President Tim Nichols for his inspired leadership and to Christina McDonald for her skillful and cheerful management of Staff Senate operations.

 

Did I mention that I arrived in Davis just in time for the heat wave? The temperature reached 110 degrees on Sunday and “cooled” to about 100 degrees thereafter. I left with an even greater appreciation for Laradise and am glad to be back to 74 and sunny.

 

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

This past Tuesday, the search committee for the next Dean for the College of Law met to review the position discussion and plan ahead for next steps. All of our search committee members are very engaged with  this search, and it was a great discussion. We will begin advertising in August, and hope to have candidates on campus later this fall. I will be sure to share the position advertisement so you all can help in the recruitment process.

 

This week, the Board of Trustees is hosting their out of town meeting in Lander. You can view the agenda and materials here, as there are many good topics to cover. We spent the afternoon yesterday having a lively discussion with members of the Wyoming Legislature. Our main topics of discussion were recruitment, funding, and growth at UW. There are varying opinions on how or if UW should grow and what programs we offer. However, it is abundantly clear that the legislature appreciates the critical importance of UW to the state of Wyoming and wants to see it thrive. With this in mind, we will continue to work at building relationships with our constituents, and keep our institution connected to communities in Wyoming. If you would like to hear the discussion from yesterday, you can view it on WyoCast here.

 

I encourage you to tune in this morning, as we will be having a discussion with Tribal leadership regarding UW’s relationship with Native American students. We have a lot of work to do on recruitment and retention of our Native American students, and I look forward to hearing from Tribal leadership on how we can be of better service. You can find the links to watch the meeting live here

 

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu
 

Dear Colleagues, 

 

I'd like to devote the message this week to one critical topic: student enrollment.

 

There is no escaping the fact that UW is challenged with decreasing enrollment. Since 2018, UW has seen an 11% decrease in total enrollment.  The projection for first-year student enrollment for fall 2023 is down 15%.  Our projections also indicate significant year-over-year declines in non-resident transfer and continuing students. Projections for graduate enrollment are also down slightly compared to fall 2022.  Collectively, total enrollment for fall 2023 is projected to be down approximately 5% relative to last year. 

 

Yesterday and today our teams in Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, the President’s Cabinet, and others have been engaged in conversations with Dr. Lewis Sanborne, a lead representative from Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL), who is assisting UW with developing a Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP).  The SEP development will begin in earnest early this fall and is anticipated to wrap up in April of 2024.  However, we won’t be waiting for the final plan to begin making strategic changes and investments that will move the needle on enrollment.

 

While our enrollment challenges are largely linked to a decline in new incoming students, we clearly have challenges in retaining our students once they are here.  The objective of the SEP will be to identify and evaluate new strategies (curricular and co-curricular) to increase enrollment by attracting new students and retaining them once they join the UW family.

 

There are many factors that determine a student's decision to enroll and ultimately to stay and continue their education at UW.  We will be looking comprehensively at all of them and making strategic adjustments that will help us enhance enrollment while simultaneously fulfilling our fundamental mission of helping students achieve their goals. We will examine individual programs as well as multiple populations including undergraduate, graduate, online, transfer, and international students.

 

As we go forward, it's important that the campus community knows the challenges we face, while also recognizing the opportunities before us.  If we come together as a campus community – faculty, staff, and administration – I am confident that we will set UW on a path for prosperity.

 

I’ll be providing updates on the SEP process as we move into the fall semester.  Thank you for your time and dedication to our great institution.

 

Regards, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

 

I hope you stayed clear from the wind and rain this afternoon and any potential tornados.  Never a dull day in Laradise!

 

Earlier this week, President Seidel released the final report from the Freedom of Expression, Intellectual Freedom and Constructive Dialogue Working Group.  The President is soliciting feedback on the report, and you can find all that information here.  There was a tremendous amount of work that went into this report and subsequent recommendations, and I was proud to serve with so many thoughtful and dedicated colleagues.  Thanks again to co-chairs, Nevin Aiken and Martha McCaughey for their leadership.

 

Yesterday, the Next Gen General Education subcommittee chairs met to begin discussing policies for the draft model of the University Studies Program (USP) at UW.  I have reviewed the draft and am excited about how we are progressing in this process. The group will continue work in the fall and will begin meeting with campus stakeholders to seek feedback on the proposal.  I’d like to thank Mandy Gifford and Rick Fisher for leading these efforts this past spring and into the fall. More to come!

 

I was informed that two of our colleagues are featured on an NPR “All Things Considered” segment.  Faculty member Bob Kelly, and incoming faculty member, Randy Haas, were interviewed on a new study on female hunters among ethnographic hunter-gatherers.  I’ll be listening to this soon!

 

As I’m sure you know, today the Supreme Court ruled that universities and colleges can no longer use race as a factor in admissions.  While I was disappointed in this decision, it was not unexpected.  In light of the decision, it seems appropriate to note that UW has never used race or ethnicity as a factor in making its admissions decisions.  Going forward, students will still be allowed to self-identify their race and ethnicity as optional fields on their application, which will help us support them once they enroll at UW.  We will also still be able to reach out to minoritized students during the recruiting process to continue our commitment to enroll a diverse community of students.  

 

Enjoy the 4th festivities and be safe with those fireworks!

 

 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

 

We’ve marked the start of summer, and we certainly felt that warmth on campus this week.

 

If you haven’t perused the UW website lately, you might want to check in on the layout. Our transition from Cascade to the Omni system was successful and things are looking great. The team in Institutional Marketing has been working incredibly hard over the past year to enhance the website experience, and it shows. A big thank you to Chad Baldwin, Mindy Peep, and the exceptional team that has pulled this off. We know that threre are still some glitches on the AA website, and ask for your patience as we work to fix them. If you need information and can’t locate it, please contact my office for assistance.

 

Our colleagues in the Research and Economic Development Division have also been making improvements with the new ROAMWyo Sponsored Projects platform. The new system will help make the grant process more streamlined, and most importantly, paperless! You can access ROAM Wyo on WyoWeb, or access the FAQ page here.  Many thanks to Parag Chitnis, Farrell Rapp, and the team that worked to get this up.

 

Recently, President Seidel engaged Cabinet members to assist in implementing his Presidential Goals. I will be leading the efforts on Goal #1: Student Excellence, which is to enhance academic, online education, and advising programs to support student success and increased student enrollment with particular focus on recruitment, retention, and graduation rates, and expand access to experiential learning with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches. I have established a working group to assist and will be meeting soon to begin working on this important goal. I will keep you updated as our work progresses.

 

Yesterday I met with Lew Sanborn with Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) who will be leading a team that will work with UW over the coming year to develop  Strategic Enrollment Plan.  The process officially begins on July 6 as Lew and his RNL colleagues visit UW for two days.  Your input into this process will be most welcome.

 

Yesterday I also had my first meeting with ASUW President Saber Smith and Vice President Jessica Petri.  They seem quite engaged and committed to working with UW administration toward our common goal of moving UW forward for the benefit of students.

Enjoy the weekend!

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

A few good items to share, and a clarification I'd like to make from my message two weeks ago.

 

You might have missed the press release about one of our students, so I'd like to send a shout-out to Chelsea-Victoria Turner, a junior at UW who was recently awarded the very prestigious Udall Scholarship. Chelsea-Victoria has an incredible story of success, that you can read about here.  I will meet with Chelsea-Victoria this fall when she returns to campus and look forward to learning more about this remarkable young scholar.

 

The great team at UW Libraries has won an award with the American Library Association's 2023 PR Xchange Awards competition for their co-hosting of the "Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone Conference" program.  You can read the award-winning program here, and a big congratulations to the team led by Jennifer Kirk and all those involved in the work.

 

In my message a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that my office had begun working with Deans on a plan for the recently approved pay raise distribution. I failed to mention that our team would also be working with our directors and other academic administrators who oversee units in the Academic Affairs Division.  Much of this preliminary work has been completed. All of our colleges and units are in the process of finalizing their proposed plans.   Again, I'm very grateful for the great work our faculty and staff do for our university and that we have this opportunity to address compensation.

 

Finally, I'd like to congratulate Scott Turpen and Cass Kvenild for their recent appointments as Dean of Arts and Sciences (Turpen), and Interim Dean of the UW Libraries (Kvenild).  I am very grateful to have them both in these critical leadership roles. Congrats, Cass and Scott!

 

Last Saturday, Susan and I had a chance to drive up to a site about 30 minutes north of Cheyenne where Anthropology Professor Todd Surovell and his team of graduate students and volunteers are excavating the skeleton of mammoth.  The skeleton is a little over 13,000 years old, which is approximately the time that humans arrived in this area.  Todd says they haven’t found evidence yet that the mammoth was killed by humans, but their methodical search continues.  It is an impressive and sophisticated operation!

excavation site in field

 

My first tomatoes are on the vine so summer in Laradise must be just around the corner!

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

 

As you know, we wrapped up our application for Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement in April and are expected to hear about the review of the application in December. We are proud to share the full application with you. It can be accessed on the UW website here.  There are many units and individuals on campus who contributed to the information gathering for the application, and so many units and colleagues engaged in great work with community partners, and it is because of you that our application has a very good chance of being accepted. 

 

We have officially launched the search for the next dean of the College of Law. We will be working through the summer and will begin in earnest in August. I’d like to thank the following committee members for contributing their time and effort in this important search:

  • Scott Beaulier (co-chair)
  • Marilyn Kite (co-chair)
  • Michael Smith
  • Dona Playton
  • Jason Robisin
  • Tawna Plumb
  • Lauren McLane
  • Alan Romero
  • Lindsay Hoyt
  • John Stark
  • Zebadiah Hall
  • Anna Reeves
  • Barry Crago
  • Joe Evers
  • Jesselyn Burroghs
  • Mike Massie

 

I’m currently in Powell, Wyoming, with Kyle Moore and Mike Smith, attending the Wyoming Community College Commission meeting. We are grateful to be here to continue efforts to collaborate with Wyoming community colleges and make improvements that benefit transfer students.

 

US News & World Report recently released its annual ‘Best States for Higher Education’ list.  As is typical of these rankings, Wyoming is highly ranked and is #5 this year.  The rankings take into consideration affordability, student debt, and completion rates at community colleges and universities.  As you may know, UW resident tuition is the lowest of a doctoral-granting institution in the US and half of our students graduate with no debt.  It is also worth noting that completion rates at Wyoming community colleges ranks #8 in the nation.

 

Enjoy the weekend!

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

It seems like we might be welcoming in summer.  I'm hoping so because I have young tomato plants in my garden beds.  I will continue to send out weekly communications through the summer as needed.  For this week, I'll keep updates brief so you can head back outside.

The Next Gen USP subcommittees have submitted their reports, and the chairs of each committee have met and presented me with a new draft model of the Next Gen USP.  I’m reviewing it more thoroughly this coming week and will provide more updates as summer work continues, but I appreciate the thoughtfulness that has gone into this significant exercise.

As you may know, in the May Board of Trustees meeting, the pay raise distribution plan was approved. My office has been working with deans on a plan to address compression issues and market-informed merit raises.  The finalized plans are due to our office by June 23, 2023, and will be processed for July’s or September’s payroll as appropriate.  I recognize that we will continue to have salary challenges even after the raises have been implemented.  That said, I’m grateful that we have been able to provide raises over two consecutive years and I’m deeply appreciative of the wonderful contributions that all of you make on a daily basis.

As a personnel update, I'd like to welcome our new UW Chief of Police, Josh Holland. Chief Holland will replace Mike Samp as he heads into retirement. Bill Mai introduced Chief Holland to the President’s cabinet this morning.  It was nice to meet him but I have to say that it was a special treat to meet Otto, his K-9 partner.  I'd like to thank Mike for his many years of service, and I wish Josh all the best in the new role.  

Finally, colleagues, it is June, which means we celebrate diversity during Pride Month. I'm incredibly proud to see all the events hosted on campus this month to raise awareness and increase support for our LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, staff, and community members. I encourage you to join any of the events hosted by UW's Multicultural Affairs and Laramie Pridefest, which you can check out here.

Extending gratitude to all of you as we head into a weekend, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I was honored to have attend the three ceremonies for the UW Laramie commencement this past Saturday. We had over 1700 students walk across stage, and more that participated in the College of Law and UW Casper commencements the same weekend. The AA was full and buzzing with joy all day.  I deeply appreciate the faculty and staff that attended the ceremonies, and especially to Jadeen Mathis, Nycole Courtney, and their team for pulling off a great day.

In addition, I would like to recognize the Honorary Marshals from the commencement ceremonies. These senior faculty have are campus leaders whose daily work inspires all of us to move this institution toward greater excellence:

  • Ken Gerow
  • Leah Hardy
  • Linda Hutchison
  • Warrie Means
  • Narina Nunez
  • Allen Trent


On Tuesday of this week, I met with Deans to discuss the upcoming and recently approved pay-raise plan. It will allow us make progress toward addressing internal and external compression.  Our team is working closely with Deans and Administration on process and are very excited to be in the position of providing salary increases again this year.

Last Friday the President’s Free Expression and Articulation working group concluded its work and will be forwarding recommendations to President Seidel for his approval.  I enjoyed serving on the committee and was very pleased with the outcome. I would like to give a special shout-out to Nevin Aiken and Martha McCaughey for leading this effort.

As a reminder, tomorrow is the deadline to submit applications for the 2023-24 Presidential Fellows program. You can find more information and application details here.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge our Registrar, Dr. Kwanna King, who recently accepted a new role at Pratt Community College in Kansas as their Vice President of Enrollment Services. Dr. King has served UW well, and we wish her all the best in the new role. Congrats, Kwanna!

Having dodged the mid-day weather excitement, I hope you enjoy the sunshine and rain sprinkles!

Regards,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I was very honored to attend and speak during the Spring Faculty Convocation last week, it was great to spend time with faculty and staff. If you missed it, you can watch it here. I especially enjoyed visiting with folks during the social hour in Pokes Pub!

It's a busy week, with the Board of Trustees meeting, spring commencement this Saturday, and UW Casper commencement on Sunday. We have few updates, so let’s jump in:

Dean Alexander and the College of Law recently received approval for the creation of The Firearms Research Center. The Center will be co-directed by Professor of Law George Mocsary who is one of the nation’s leading experts on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the laws and regulations related to this Amendment.  George is also a co-author of the leading law textbook on the Second Amendment and Firearm Regulation in the United States.  This is a nonpartisan academic research center that focuses on the laws and regulations surrounding the Second Amendment and the impact on economic and rural development, tourism and recreation, and other issues.

Dean Warren and the College of Health Sciences has created the Wyoming Center for Telehealth. The Center will work collaboratively to develop and/or refine content for training in telehealth, coordinate delivery of trainings using telehealth technologies; conduct applied and policy research focused on the impact of the use of telehealth; support expansion of access to telehealth services within Wyoming; serve as a consultative resource for faculty, staff, students, and state-wide stakeholders regarding telehealth; and grow the presence and use of telehealth throughout the College of Health Sciences, the University, and the State of Wyoming. A director for the Center will be named soon.

Finally, this is the last week that Dr. Anne Alexander will be part of the Academic Affairs team. Anne has concluded her appointment as Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Initiatives and will transition to the College of Business in a new role. Anne has made the last couple of years not only fun, but successful in the projects she led. We wished Anne all the best in an office celebration last week and will see her around Prexy’s! Thank you, Anne! 

Dr. Carman and Dr. Alexander

Regards,

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

In case you missed it, we have recently appointed the first Executive Director of the Neltje Center for Excellence in Creativity and the Arts. Beth Venn will start on June 1, and we are excited she is on board. We are very fortunate to have worked with the famed artist Neltje before her passing on establishing this initiative that will now be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. I look forward to seeing the great experiences and creative opportunities to come.

President Seidel and I have been meeting with colleges as part of a Town Hall tour. It's been very helpful to have candid conversations on some of the challenges and successes each college has. I've been grateful for the openness and honesty, and even the laughter that is coming from our discussions. We met with SER this past Monday, and President Seidel and I somehow managed to coordinate outfits without prep:

 President Seidel and Provost Carman

If we haven't met with your college or school yet, we will see you soon when the tour continues this fall!

In just a few months' time applications will open for some of the nation’s and the world’s top scholarships, honors, and opportunities such as the Rhodes, the Marshall, and the Fulbright awards.  As we recognize our top students at this time of the year, please help us to identify top sophomores and juniors (3.6 or above) that may be good candidates for these opportunities.  Students can learn more about the application process here. Several UW students have already won Rhodes, Marshalls, and Fulbrights.  You can watch the journey of one of our students winning a Fulbright scholarship here.  I'd like to thank Dr. Stephanie Anderson for her work and dedication as the director of the UW Major Scholarship Taskforce for the past several years and also alert you that the Honors College will be taking over this role and providing support for students who wish to apply for these honorifics going forward.

I would also like to give a shout-out to the incredible work of some of our graduate students who were honored last week by the School of Graduate Education and the Graduate Council. You can read more about the awardees here.

Continuing the spirit of recognition, I received an email this morning from a member of the Tobin and Spitaleri Awards committee, which recognizes the top graduating undergraduate students at UW. During the finalist interview process, students were asked which UW class had inspired them and changed their mind about an important issue. The finalists shared the following courses and faculty who teach them:

  • Dr. Karagh Brummond, Neuroscience and the Law
  • Dr. Matthew Henry, Climate Change & Colonialism 
  • Dr. Joslyn Cassady, Pandemics & Outbreaks 
  • Dr. Steven Bialostok, Race & Racism
  • Paul Taylor, Wyoming Walkabout
  • Dr. Arielle Zibrak, 18th Century Literature
  • Dr. Chelsea Escalante, Spanish Linguistics & Phonetics
  • Dr. Nancy Shea, Ecofeminism
  • Dr. Thomas Seitz, Politics of Developing Nations


I'd like to thank Maggie Bourque for sharing this wonderful news about our faculty and thank all of our faculty who challenge and inspire our students.

One more congratulations for this week: Dr. Steve Barrett, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education was recently selected to receive the 2023 NCEES Distinguished Examination Service Award for his many contributions to the engineering and surveying professionals. This award is very well deserved. Congrats, Steve!

Finally, I had the great pleasure of meeting today with two UW graduate students who recently received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.  Sabrina White and Annabella Helman are remarkable young scholars who came to UW from the University of Florida and Duke University, respectively, because of our outstanding faculty.  Sabrina will be studying the impact of climate change on bumble bees, and Annabella will be studying predator-prey interactions in Kenya. 
It gives me great pleasure to share the accomplishments and recognitions of members of the UW community.  I appreciate all of you. 

Regards,

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

If you happened to miss the Buchanan Lecture last week with Dr. Ken Gerow, you can watch his presentation through this link (use passcode U0w&FNd3). It was a full house in the College of Business Auditorium, and Ken delivered a great lecture. Thanks, Ken, and best wishes in your retirement!

In addition to many events last week, I was happy to host lunch for the Carnegie Community Engagement Task Force. As you may know, we submitted our application on Monday, April 17th to become a Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement institution. I'm very proud of the work by the task force. Fingers crossed as we wait to hear back on the decision in December. Here are a couple of photos from our luncheon:

carnegie task force membersCarnegie task force presentation view
This afternoon, the working group tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations on the priority of positions allocated in our upcoming Central Position Management (CPM) process will meet to discuss their rankings. I deeply appreciate the time and dedication of our colleagues and am pleased to have an inclusive and transparent process this year. I will continue to keep you in the loop as we learn more about the budget and determine the positions that will be allocated to the colleges.

Looking ahead to next week, I encourage you to attend the Spring 2023 Convocation on Wednesday, May 3, from 3-4:30 pm in the Union Ballroom. We will hear from President Seidel, ASUW, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate, as well as a few of our Presidential Fellows. Following the convocation, join us for a social hour in Poke's Pub from 4:30-5:30 pm. Hope to see you there!

Cheers,

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

You may have received one or two emails from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion asking for your participation in a campus climate survey. It is critical that we have a baseline for how we are supporting efforts on DEI, and where we can enhance or improve support structures. Please take 10 minutes of your time to provide feedback here.

The Honors College supports students from across the entire university in identifying and applying for nationally competitive opportunities in external, prestigious scholarships. As part of supporting students, Honors invites all interested UW students to complete a short survey to indicate their interest and to join them for an information session on Tuesday, May 9 at 4 pm in Guthrie 106. If you would like to learn more about external scholarships, please go to the External Scholarships page.

As you probably know, we are in the process of transitions with a few college leadership positions.  Here are some updates.  Ivan Gaetz, Dean of UW Libraries, will retire on August 11, 2023. I am appointing Associate Dean, Cass Kvenild as Interim Dean and will determine the next steps in the fall. College of Law Dean, Klint Alexander, plans to return to the faculty at the end of next academic year.  I have formed a search committee and secured a search consultant and plan to launch a search this coming fall.  Dean Scott Beaulier, College of Business, and former Chief Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court, Marilyn Kite have agreed to co-chair the search. Both Dean Gaetz and Dean Alexander have served the university well, and we wish them the best in the next chapter of their lives.

You may have learned that the College of Education Dean, Scott Thomas, recently accepted a presidential appointment at another institution.  President Seidel and I joined the College of Education yesterday in a Town Hall meeting, and had a very robust discussion on many topics, including leadership of the college.  I plan to send a survey to the college next week, asking for input on the direction of leadership, and will keep the campus updated as things progress. I wish Dean Thomas all the best in his new role at Sterling College.

Monday afternoon President Seidel and I met with Honors College faculty and staff to participate in a Town Hall meeting in the Guthrie House.  Lori Howe served up one of her signature beautiful and mouth-watering cakes, which facilitated an energetic forward-looking discussion.

Finally, I know the end of the semester gets a bit hectic and stressful, so let's all remember we are doing our best.  I deeply appreciate the work you do.

Cheers, 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

I just met with the working group tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations on the priority of positions allocated in our upcoming Central Position Management (CPM) process. The working group is starting the process of reviewing the proposals from each college and providing a recommendation to me by May 1.

 

In April, UW Faculty Senate approved an updated policy regarding the acceptance of oral communication and public speaking courses for students transferring to UW. The updated policy, in line with national guidance from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, should allow over 1,500 individual courses to be more directly, efficiently, and consistently evaluated and applied toward general-education requirements at UW. This effort was spearheaded by Wendi Vanlandingham, Director of Transfer Relations, and Rick Fisher, Director of Communication Across the Curriculum, and I thank them for all the work!

 

In my message the week of April 3, I recognized two PhD students in Psychology that were recently awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. I learned that we had two other students who were among a total of 4 awardees. I'd like to congratulate Sabrina White and Annabella Helman (both in Zoology and Physiology), and I hope to meet you soon!

 

This week UW is hosting “National Lab Day”, which brings together leadership and scientists for all 17 Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories across the nation.  Many of our faculty and students are participating the discussions and presentations.  This is really a great honor for UW.  Kudos to VP Parag Chitnis and SER Executive Director Holly Krutka for orchestrating such a successful event.

 

I hope you had a chance to drop in for the Staff Recognition Day celebration at the UW Conference Center.  The turnout was great and there were lots of smiles as staff enjoyed games, foods, swag and good company.

 

My final update here is to congratulate some colleagues who have been selected for faculty awards. I was able to attend some faculty meetings this week to surprise some of our awardees, and for a few others I was able to call personally and extend the good news. Our list of outstanding faculty awardees are:

Ellbogen Lifetime Teaching Award: Pam Langer

Hollon Family Award for Teaching Excellence Award: Gabel Taggart

George Duke Humphrey Award: Susan Aronstein

Laramigo Award: Kem Krueger

 

Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Awards:

Karagh Brummond

Sreejayan Nair

Noah Novogrodsky

 

UW Foundation Stewardship Awards:

John Kaszuba

Cindy Price Schultz

 

I'll share a couple of pictures below of this week, and extend a big congratulations to all our faculty awardees!

Provost with faculty Provost with faculty

Cheers,

Kevin C.

provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

What a great time of year. The Faculty Recognition and Development Committee recently wrapped up their deliberation on selecting awardees for our various faculty awards. We have that list and are working our way through notifying these outstanding colleagues (sometimes by showing up at faculty meetings and surprising them!). I won't spoil things for those who don't know yet, but you can expect to see the names in our message next week.

We recently solicited nominations for selecting a speaker for our annual Buchanan Lecture.  We had to choose from a group of outstanding nominees.  I'm pleased to announce that Dr. Ken Gerow, Mathematics & Statistics, has accepted the invitation. I'm sure Ken will deliver a provocative and heartfelt lecture, so please join us on Friday, April 21st at 3:00 pm.  More details on the location and Ken's lecture will be coming soon. 

Graduate students that are on the home stretch of completing their degree should consider applying for the Carlton R. Barkhurst Fellowship. The fellowship is intended to help PhD and master’s candidates finish their dissertation/thesis in a timely manner.  For more information about qualification requirements and application information please click here.  A brief note for fall-semester applicants: Applications and a faculty letter of nomination and recommendation must be completed by June 30, 2023, for consideration. Good luck!

As a final note, I want to recognize two PhD students in Psychology that were recently awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Congratulations to Samantha Spoor and Lindsay Gillikin for being selected for this prestigious award and bringing distinction to the Psychology program, the College of Arts and Sciences, and UW. Only 2500 of these fellowships were awarded nationwide!  I look forward to meeting with them next week to hear more about their research and their career goals!

Warmer days are just around the corner! 

Cheers,
 
Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

At the Board meeting last week, the Trustees approved the move of the UW Data Science Center to the School of Computing. The center will be well-supported by the SoC and will work to enhance data-science offerings for students and other initiatives. We also had the opportunity to update the board on a revised schedule of this fall's Saddle Up program. After an impressive roll-out last fall, our incredible team has made some adjustments to make this year's program even better. I deeply appreciate the work of Anne Alexander and Nycole Courtney, as well as the faculty and staff working behind the scenes to make Saddle Up a success.

The Wyoming Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is launching a summer program aimed at providing students with hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and innovation from business leaders in the state. The three-week program will run from May 22-June 7th on campus, and you can learn more about it here.

I recently initiated the working group tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations on the priority of positions allocated in our upcoming Central Position Management (CPM) process. The working group will meet next week to being the process of reviewing the proposals from each college with a goal of having final recommendations to me by May 1. Final decisions on position allocations will come in late July or August when we have better understanding of where our budget stands. I want to thank the following colleagues for their time and focus on this important task:

•Steve Smutko
•Narina Nunez
•Todd Cherry
•Michelle Hilaire
•Randa Jabbour
•Rochelle McCoy
•Danny Dale
•Richard Carter
•Thomas Grant
•Allison Brown
•Emily Gipson
•Parag Chitnis
•Tami Benham Deal
•Steve Barrett
•Jim Ahern
•Isa Helfgott
•Janet Willhaus
•Nathan Clement

Based on the ad hoc RTP committee’s recommendations, we (well, Tami did the work) have prepared a revised SAPP with modified procedures. The proposed changes will be discussed with Faculty Senate then made available for general comment.

Finally, one of the best experiences from the last week was attending the Annual Central Asian & Persian Awareness Day and New Year (Navruz) celebration on Saturday, March 25th. This event was incredibly well-attended by many students, staff, faculty, and community members. I was very impressed with the beautiful display of various performers and presentations from many Central Asian and Persian traditions. I want to congratulate the Central Asian Student Associate (CASA) and the Persian Student Association for putting together such a wonderful celebration, and acknowledge the hard work and leadership of Dr. Dilnoza Khasilova, Marina Poussard and Zeinab Melinda Akbarishahabi. A big thank you to everyone, and for the beautiful regalia.


Enjoy the sun that continues to peek out. Could spring be in the air?

Cheers,
Kevin C.

provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

It’s a busy week with the Board of Trustees meeting, but here’s some brief updates from my office:

I had the opportunity to join President Seidel and most members of his cabinet Tuesday morning to celebrate resident assistants in Orr Hall. As you may know, there was a fire in one of the dorm rooms that started around midnight on 14 February. The RAs responded brilliantly, guiding students quickly and safely out of the dorm. One student who was having a seizure was carried to safety by RA Kennedy Heninger. Heninger, who led the heroic response, was honored with a citation from the Board of Trustees at today’s meeting.

The School of Computing recently announced the recipients of its Faculty Awards for the 2022-2023 academic year. The awards support research, teaching and engagement activities connected to advancing computing across the university. Sixteen of our great colleagues were awarded funds that support university initiatives and state priorities, build new opportunities or capacity in computing, impact student experiences and learning, advance the school in its initial phase of development, and contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion values. Congratulations to the faculty – you can read more about the awards here.

I just finished my review of the draft application for Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement and am incredibly impressed by the quality of the application. There are many units and individuals on campus who are engaged in great work with community partners, and it is because of you that our application has a very good chance of being accepted.  We will have the application submitted by May 1 and expect to hear from the Carnegie Foundation by December of this year.  Thanks again to the Carnegie Community Engagement Task Force, and Dr. Jean Garrison, for their tremendous work.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate Dean Peter Parolin, who recently joined 14 fellow Wyomingites in becoming US citizens. Congratulations to all of you and I’m looking forward to seeing you around this great state!

Sincerely,
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

A couple weeks ago, Senior Vice Provost Tami Benham-Deal represented Academic Affairs at the UW Art Museum’s Spring Opening Reception & Awards Ceremony for the Juried Student Exhibition. A collection of creative student artwork of all forms was showcased, including photography, painting, ceramics, and more. Tami presented scholarship awards to Roger Clark and Jesse Taylor and artwork purchase from Julia Cook (below). 

Dear Colleagues,

Happy Spring Break! I realize that many members of our UW community don’t get time off during Spring Break, but I hope that everyone has had a chance to take a deep breath.

A couple weeks ago, Senior Vice Provost Tami Benham-Deal represented Academic Affairs at the UW Art Museum’s Spring Opening Reception & Awards Ceremony for the Juried Student Exhibition. A collection of creative student artwork of all forms was showcased, including photography, painting, ceramics, and more. Tami presented scholarship awards to Roger Clark and Jesse Taylor and artwork purchase from Julia Cook (below).  

UW Art Opening Presentation with two people

Tami and student artist, Julia Cook (Photo by BHP Imaging)

On Thursday, March 2nd I attended the finals for the Bi-Annual Dorothy Jacoby Student Soloist Competition at the Buchanan Center.  We heard  wonderful performances from five finalists, each of whom performed a solo with the UW Symphony Orchestra, masterfully conducted by Professor Michael Griffith.  At the end of the program, I had the honor of announcing the winners:  1st Place, Henrique Rabelo (piano), and 2nd Place, Jaxon Cox (cello).  I’m just grateful that I didn’t have choose among these talented musicians!

As you probably know, Dr. Jean Garrison has been leading the Carnegie Community Engagement Task Force. Due to her leadership and the tremendous work from the task force we have a robust draft application for Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement. This designation is received, after a thorough self-study by higher education institutions to determine if they meet high standards of community engagement. This draft is no small feat, and currently totals 45,000+ words. The final proposal will be submitted May 1st and we expect to hear back from Carnegie Foundation in December.  Thank you to Jean and all our Task Force members!

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Nellie Haddad, our new UW Ombudsperson. As the Ombudsperson, her office will independently provide confidential, impartial, problem-solving resources for the campus community. Read more about Dr. Haddad here.

Last week, the deans submitted their proposals for the next round of positions through our CPM (Central Position Management) process. As noted previously, I’m putting together a working group that will meet in April to review all requests and submit their recommendations to me. 

As a final note, I’d like to encourage applications for the 2023-2024 Presidential Fellows program. The purpose of the Presidential Fellows program is to elevate and facilitate faculty-led projects that advance the university, specifically UW’s 2023+ Strategic Plan. Proposals should be submitted to UWPres@uwyo.edu by Friday, March 24. For your proposal, please fill out this form and include your C.V.

Sincerely,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Just a few brief noteworthy items this week:

I'm so pleased when I learn about the recognition (whether local or national) of fellow colleagues and programs at UW. Associate Professor Shelby Shadwell, in the Art and Art History program, was recently awarded a 2023 Stone and DeGuire Contemporary Art Award. I look forward to seeing the creativity come out of this. In addition, the UW English department has been ranked among the top bachelor's degrees in the nation by Best Accredited Colleges. I'm very grateful for Department Chair, Kelly Kinney, and all our great faculty leading this important program. 

As everyone knows, the incredible staff we have at our university helps make our days easier and we simply couldn’t function without them. If you would like to recognize an outstanding staff member, consider nominating them for one of the many awards provided during the annual Staff Recognition Day on April 13th, 11-1 at the UW Conference Center. I look forward to this event, and I hope to see many of you there supporting those who support us.

I met with the College of Law faculty last Friday to initiate the process of searching for the next dean.  We will get organized this spring and begin the search in earnest next spring, with a goal of having the new dean in place in the summer of 2024, when Klint Alexander plans to return to faculty.  I will soon be meeting with the Libraries faculty and staff to begin the discussion of next steps in anticipation of Ivan Gaetz’s plans to retire on August 11. 

Saddle Up planning is in full swing for Fall 2023’s incoming class.  We need great students who are interested in serving as Poke Pack Leaders. These are students who work with small groups of our incoming first-year students during the week of Saddle Up, assisting them in navigating the experience. If you know of a great student who loves building networks and knows everything there is to know about UW, encourage them to apply.  Applications and information can be found here

Lastly, I'd like to take a moment to recognize all the committee and working group efforts happening across campus. From AI to FYS, and everything in between, I know it is above and beyond the work you already do.

I hope you are able to take some time for yourself during the March break.  Please don’t tell anyone, but Susan and I are headed to Cabo San Lucas on Saturday for a week of sun and sand and thus you won’t be hearing from me next Thursday.    

Stay warm,

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

The wind and cold didn't stop things from happening on campus this week. The work goes on!

I sent notices to the Deans, ASUW, Faculty Senate, and Staff Senate yesterday, announcing my plan to assemble a committee to review 2023 CPM proposals for faculty positions. The committee will consist of a representative from each college, Faculty Senate, ASUW, possibly the Staff Senate, and additional members from my office. This committee will provide transparency and equitability to the CPM process, and I look forward to working with them this semester.

There are many faculty awards and development opportunities across campus right now, and I'd like to highlight a few here. There is currently a call for faculty to apply for the Daniels Fund Faculty Fellows Program. This is an excellent opportunity to engage students and stakeholders in principle-based ethics education. The application deadline is April 7th, and you can learn more and apply here. Additionally, my office is still accepting nominations for the Ellbogen, Humphrey, Hollon, and Laramigo awards, due March 1.

Last weekend, Jim Ahern, Vice Provost for Graduate Education attended Bangladesh Night in the Union and had a wonderful time engaging with students, faculty, staff, and members of the UW community. A big thanks to Dr. Anowar Islam, and the Bangladesh Students Association at UW for hosting the event and inviting our office to participate. We received a great photo from Dr. Islam commemorating the evening (I had to miss it because I was traveling back from a Foundation Board retreat in Arizona):

bangladesh night 2023 honored guests

 

One more final announcement this week. After seven years of serving as Dean of UW Libraries, Ivan Gaetz has officially announced his plans to retire on August 11, 2023. Dean Gaetz has been and is an incredible colleague to work with, and we wish him well on his journey into retirement. I will be meeting soon with the Libraries team to discuss next steps to assure a smooth transition in leadership.  In the meantime, we offer our deepest thanks to Dean Gaetz.


Stay warm,


Kevin C.

provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

It may be close to one of the coldest days on campus this year, so I hope you are staying warm and safe while I update you on a few things from the office.

Early last year, I established an ad hoc committee to examine and make recommendations on how we can make better use of the summer term and J-terms. I asked this committee to address specific issues that included scheduling of courses, progress toward degrees, the current structure for course offerings, the current business model, and how we can promote the terms to attract more students. The committee submitted its report to me last week, and I'm pleased with the recommendations and to learn that there are over 80 programs offering summer courses in 2023. We will work hard to market our summer term courses and offer a big thank you to those who offer these courses. The courses will be available online soon, so keep watching this link. Additionally, a note of gratitude for those who gave time and energy to this committee:

  • Steve Barrett
  • Matt Griswold
  • Aaron Courtney
  • Nycole Courtney
  • Misty Eaton
  • Isa Helfgott
  • Shelley Jewell
  • Kwanna King
  • Richard Miller
  • Kyle Moore
  • Scott Chamberlin
  • Karen Bartsch Estes


Just a reminder that there is still time left to nominate faculty for the 2023 Faculty Stewardship Award. This award recognizes UW faculty who have excelled in relationship building and stewardship of alumni and donors. Nominations are due by Monday, March 13, 2023, and can be submitted at this link.

Last evening, I attended the "Fight the Power: Black 14 Social Justice Summer Institute Student Exhibit" and reception that was hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Multicultural Affairs.  The event was very well attended, and I was impressed by the exhibit and especially the presence and engagement of one of the student participants I was able to meet, Kyaria Fullington from Colorado Springs.

I'd like to congratulate our Vice Provost for Global Engagement, Isa Helfgott, for her selection as a fellow in the U.S. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) University Connections Initiative (UCI). VP Helfgott does an outstanding job of representing UW in the world and we know she will make the most of this fellowship. Congrats, Isa!

As a final note, I'd like to welcome a new member to our AA team. Tiffany Hatfield recently joined the Office of Online and Continuing Education and will guide marketing efforts for online and noncredit programs as an Enrolment Marketing Specialist. Tiffany has been in higher education for several years, and we are thrilled she has joined our team. Welcome, Tiffany!

Cheers, 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

According to our local squirrel expert, Dean John Koprowksi, and the famous Punxsutawney Phil, looks like we have more winter weather coming our way (but would be tickled pink if it was only 6 weeks more!). Hope you are staying warm while reading up on some news this week:

As I mentioned last week, UW has a policy regarding the review of degree programs to determine if they meet minimum completion criteria.  The policy specifies that “low-producing” programs are defined as undergraduate degree programs that have an average of fewer than 5 graduates per year and master’s degree programs that have an average of fewer than 3 graduates per year over a five-year period.  Our office recently generated a report on degree programs and identified 24 undergraduate and 34 graduate programs that do not meet the minimum completion criteria.  The deans are reviewing these programs and will report back on July 31st, and if you would like to see the list, you can do so here.

The AI Chatbots Working Group provided their report to President Seidel this week. Among the recommendations were modifications to academic policies, identifying needs and supporting instruction for future programming, exploration of what use of and co-creation with AI variants in scholarship means in RT&P, and collaborating with our educational partners across Wyoming to map the future course of policy and pedagogical responses. Vice Provost Anne Alexander and Faculty Senate Chair Renee Laegreid co-chaired the working group with Steve Barrett, Gabrielle Allen, Kelly Kinney, Janel Seely, Rick Fisher, Richard Miller, Andre Fecteau, Hunter Swilling, and Nycole Courtney. President Seidel is reviewing the report and will be communicating next steps soon. A big thanks to the working group for swift and important work.

On Tuesday of this past week, I was pleased to attend the University of Wyoming chapter of the Mortar Board’s (National College Senior Honor Society) annual celebration where each Mortar Board member pays tribute to their favorite faculty member.  It was wonderful and moving to hear students reflect on the profound impact that faculty have had on their lives.  It was also great to see the bright smiles of faculty as they were being honored.  I’d like to close this week’s letter by mentioning these outstanding colleagues here---thank you for all you do!

  • David Bagley
  • Eric Nigh
  • Treva Sprout Ahrenholtz
  • Jason Shogren
  • Joslyn Cassady
  • Kassi Willingham
  • Grace Shearrer
  • Kristopher Koski
  • Jason Gigley
  • Megan Skinner
  • Kevin Monteith
  • Joe Russo
  • Ginka Kubelka
  • Christopher Rothfuss
  • Yan Zhang
  • Patrick Kreiser
  • JJ Shinker

Cheers, 

 

Kevin C.

Provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 
As we move into the hectic pace of a new semester, let's all remember to take time for ourselves and recharge when needed.

Before you head into the weekend, here's some news from my office and a couple of kudos to colleagues:

If you missed the ChatGPT Roundtable we hosted earlier this week, you can watch the WyoCast recording here. A big thanks to our panelists, Rick Fisher, Meg Van Baalen-Wood, and Rebecca Austin for their views on the AI tool, and to Jim Ahern for moderating. The working group formed that is tackling this topic is already drafting some recommendations, and we look forward to sharing those soon. 

It's already that time of year to think about nominating colleagues for various faculty awards. My office sent out the notice to all deans, department heads, and directors, with nomination packets due March 1, 2023. We look forward to seeing the nominations for the Ellbogen, Humphrey, Hollon, and Laramigo awards! 

Congratulations to Dean Beaulier and the faculty in the Entrepreneurship program, who beat out Auburn for the nationwide Model Emerging ENTR Program award from the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). Our own Patrick Kreiser was present to accept the award, and the president of the USABE will be on campus in April to present the award. Well done!

I'm very aware of the caliber of our faculty across campus, and two awards came to my attention this week. I'd like to congratulate Dr. Don Jarvis and Dr. Dan Wall for recently being named 2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows. I'm honored to be working with you, and all our faculty at UW.

UW has a policy regarding the review of degree programs to determine if they meet minimum completion criteria.  The policy specifies that “low-producing” programs are defined as undergraduate degree programs that have an average of fewer than 5 graduates per year and master’s degree programs that have an average of fewer than 3 graduates per year over a five-year period.  The policy further specifies that programs that fall below these minima “will be required to conduct an immediate review with a report on the status of the degree program due back to the Office of the Provost within six months”.   Our office recently generated a report on degree programs and identified 24 undergraduate and 34 graduate programs that do not meet the minimum completion criteria.  I have shared this information with deans with a request for their report by July 31, 2023. The information has also been shared with the Faculty Senate and ASUW.

Last May I appointed an ad hoc committee to review and make recommendations on various policies and procedures related to reappointment, tenure, and promotion.  On January 31 I received the committee’s final report, which includes many thoughtful suggestions on how we can refine and improve the RTP process.  The report also identifies several issues that will require further deliberation.  I’m very grateful to the committee members for their extraordinary investment of time and energy, and I’m especially grateful to Doug Russell for chairing the committee.  I will be discussing the recommendations with the Faculty Senate to determine next steps.

Stay well, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

What a great feeling it is to walk across Prexy's and see all the busyness of campus. I truly hope this first week back has been fulfilling. Happy to be sharing some updates with you this week:

Earlier this week, I sent a communication to all our faculty colleagues providing some resources my office offers as the semester starts. I would like to share those more broadly with campus, and let you know that my office always has information available to you on our website that includes: 


If you have any questions about these resources, please send them to me at provost@uwyo.edu.

This week, I met with the First Year Experience subcommittee and had some great initial conversations with co-chairs John Kambutu (Education), and April Heaney (LeaRN), as well as some discussion with committee members during their first meeting. The co-chairs and I agreed that the FYS will be suspended for the next two years as the committee contemplates an alternate plan for achieving the FYS goals within our USP.  We simply lack adequate resources to sustain our current model of teaching many small 3-credit FYS classes.  Recall that this subcommittee is one of several Next Gen subcommittees that are being established to make recommendations on specific components of the USP, including Transfer Relations, Digital Literacy, Cultural Competence, etc..  You can find those draft charges here.

As a final reminder, the University of Wyoming is conducting a review of non-faculty organization structures, and non-faculty job classification, job title and compensation programs. One component of this review is an Administrative Activities Survey to catalog business activities in an effort to improve the alignment of roles and responsibilities for specific job functions across campus. For those who have been sent an invitation to participate, this is a last reminder to complete the survey by Friday, January 20, 2023.  Thank you so much for your time supporting this critical effort. 

President Seidel has appointed a task force to examine the potential implications of the rapid emergence of artificial intelligence chatbots (e.g., ChatGPT).  The committee is co-chaired by Anne Alexander and Renee Laegreid, and other members include Steve Barrett (Undergraduate Education), Gabrielle Allen (School of Computing), Kelly Kinney (English), Janel Seely (ECTL), Rick Fisher (English), Richard Miller (ACES), Andre Fecteau (IT), Nycole Courtney (Student Affairs) and Allison Brown (ASUW).  The committee is charged with recommending, by early February, academic policies that address chatbots and related emerging technologies as well as providing guidance on how we can inform and support students and faculty in the productive use of these fascinating new tools.

As most of us are gearing up for annual performance reviews, I would like to encourage all faculty to review and update their activities in WyoVita.  WyoVita is our online tool that faculty use to record their professional activities and to create and customize their CVs and biosketches for a variety of purposes without having to enter data multiple times in multiple platforms.  If you are new to the University and would like a brief tutorial on how to update your professional activities in WyoVita and/or you just need a bit of a refresher, join our team in Academic Affairs on Monday, January 23, 2023, at 5:30 pm for a one-hour ‘how to’ session.  The Zoom session will be recorded, but there will be a delay in posting it to the AA website due to the current CMS migration process. To join the meeting via ZOOM, see this link, or join meeting ID 96018654225.

See you around Prexy’s and stay warm!


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to a new year and new semester! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and are returning to campus refreshed. I had a house full of family (sisters, nieces, and nephews) which was both wonderful and exhausting.  As soon as they left I jumped on a plane and joined the UW faithful in Tucson for the bowl game.  The game was a heartbreaker, but the Pokes played with heart and our fans were absolutely amazing.  

I'm looking forward to what this new year brings. Here are some of the first updates of the year:

As you may recall from messages last fall, the University of Wyoming is conducting a review of non-faculty organization structures, and non-faculty job classification, job title and compensation programs. One component of this review is an Administrative Activities Survey to catalog business activities in an effort to improve the alignment of roles and responsibilities for specific job functions across campus. For those who have been sent an invitation to participate, please complete the survey by Friday, January 20th, 2023.  

Recently, Rick Fisher, Director of Communication across the Curriculum/ LeaRN, renewed a discussion on the faculty list-serve that was first introduced in August by Tyrrell McAllister, Associate Professor of Mathematics , about the impact of AI text generators like ChatGPT on written assignments. Thanks to all who have engaged in the list-serve discussion.  It is clear that while this new technology can be an incredible learning tool, there are legitimate concerns about the use of AI and its impact on academic integrity. (You can read more about the topic in the January 6, 2023 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education). To address these concerns, President Seidel is establishing a working group to discuss how we can productively use this technology at UW. If you have specific questions about ChatGPT, we have created a survey to collect those on our AA website here and plan to address them in the coming weeks. Additionally, Rick is hosting a session for faculty to discuss ideas on how to address this in the classroom. The session is tomorrow (Friday, January 13) at 1:00 pm in Coe 506. A big thanks to Rick for taking the lead in organizing this dialogue.

In a message from me in early December, I announced a new financial commitment to Student Success from our Board of Trustees in the form of mini-grants to assist students who may have had a financial account balance that was preventing them from enrolling for the spring semester. I'm thrilled to report that in Round 1 of the Student Success Grants program, we awarded over $20k that helped 45 students enroll in classes for spring. While we reached out to many more than 45, and it is a goal to have all of our students continue to enroll until degree completion, every little bit helps, and this certainly eased some financial stress and made a difference for these students.

We have just completed the review cycle for Academic Year 2023-24 sabbatical and professional development leaves and I am pleased to report that 34 faculty have received notice that their proposals were approved.  Sabbatical leaves provide ongoing career development for faculty to build on the foundation of their scholarly accomplishments.  Similarly, professional-development leaves provide our non-tenure-track faculty with opportunities to advance their pedagogical knowledge and skills.  A special thanks to the Faculty Recognition Committee, chaired by Courtney McKim, for their review and feedback on the sabbatical proposals.

An exciting update is coming to UW websites. The Cascade CMS (Content Management System) the university uses for web site editing and development is being replaced by Omni CMS.  Omni CMS has several enhancements for site authors and will bring UW’s web sites more in line with higher-education standards.  During this transition period, site authors will be limited with respect to webpage and site content updates.  The critical editing blackout dates will be from January 13, 2023 until February 5, 2023.  UW’s Institutional Marketing department will be updating campus with transition dates and inviting site editors to training sessions once the Omni CMS system is “live”.

Stay warm,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

2022

Dear Colleagues,

We are quickly approaching the end of the year, and like you, I am ready for some time with family and friends. However, there's no shortage of work that has been happening this week. Lots to cover...

As mentioned in multiple previous updates, the Next Gen General Education (NGGE) committee recommended a pause to its deliberations, while recommending the establishment of several subcommittees to focus on various specific issues, such as the First Year Experience (which includes the FYS). I agree with their recommendations, as we have worked out draft charges for each of these subcommittees, which include:

 

  • First Year Experience
  • Transfer Relations
  • COM Revision
  • Digital Literacy
  • Cultural Competency
  • Structure/Innovation/Pedagogy
  • “V” Committee
  • Assessment Committee

 

My office is currently working with the NGGE leadership to select co-chairs for each of the subcommittees and is soliciting campus volunteers with this message. If you are interested in serving on any of these subcommittees, please send an email to NGGE Co-Chair, Rick Fisher, at Rick.Fisher@uwyo.edu. Please take time to review the charges and timelines here, before committing to the work, and have your email to Rick in by January 6, 2023. We deeply value your time and energy and wish to make the most of it.

The University of Wyoming is conducting a thorough and comprehensive review of non-faculty organization structures, non-faculty job classification, job title and compensation programs. One component of this review is understanding how you feel about the services you interact with across campus. If you haven’t already, please complete the Services Satisfaction Survey by clicking on the following link: https://deloittesurvey.deloitte.com/Community/se/3FC11B263D4EB5E7 

I'd like to take a moment here to give some shout-outs. Our Entrepreneurship program in the College of Business is in the running for the USASBE Model Emerging Program Award. This award recognizes colleges and universities for their efforts in developing nascent entrepreneurship programs that demonstrate outstanding progress toward becoming comprehensive, bold, and innovative educational programs with early records of student impact. This nomination is evidence of the university’s commitment to supporting Wyoming college students in learning applied and practical skills that will contribute to the Wyoming economy. Best of luck, CoB, and we look forward to hearing news!

I was recently scrolling through the latest issue of U.S. News and World News: Best Colleges report and noticed some great entries for some of our UW programs:

 

  • Nursing (ranked #135 of four-year BSN/RN or BSN programs)
  • Business (ranked #190 of undergraduate business programs accredited by AACSB)
  • The University of Wyoming (ranked #202 of 1800 four-year colleges and universities)

All of this makes me even more proud to be part of this great institution. Thank you again, for all you do.

Stay warm,

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu
Dear Colleagues,

I'll begin this week by acknowledging the recent events on campus that have deeply impacted our LGBTQIAP2S+ students, faculty, and staff, and those of us who stand with them.  It is difficult to adequately express the sadness and even anger I feel when such events occur.  It is hard for me to fathom how anyone would intentionally seek to harm someone, emotionally or physically, simply because of who they are.  I know that President Seidel and Vice President Chestnut are deeply committed to embracing our entire community, and I share their commitment.  But it takes all of us, and I ask and encourage you to be active participants in what must be a tireless pursuit of inclusion, equity, empathy, and respect for all members of our community.  Your voice and your ideas are and will be critical.

Earlier this week, at our Academic Forums (Deans and Directors) meeting, I informed the group of a recent financial commitment to Student Success from our Board of Trustees. We have been authorized to use limited funds for mini-grants, to assist students who may have a financial account balance that is preventing them from enrolling for our spring semester. We recognize many students are in situations where a small amount of additional funds would be highly influential to continue progress toward their degree at UW.  Academic advisors in the college/schools as well as in ACES have been reaching out to about 100 students this week and early reports suggest that the response is very positive.  We are expecting to provide a total of approximately $40,000 in assistance through this program.  It is our intent that this will be an ongoing program and we know that it will be modified as we learn more about what practices are most impactful.  While we do have limited resources, if you have a student who contacts you, or if you are aware of a student in such a situation, please direct them to this application for consideration for additional LIMITED funding. We will review these applications after the first of the year, ahead of the start of the spring term. Our goal is to help as many students as possible, but understandably that falls short of all. 

As mentioned in my November 3 communication, we announced a new opportunity for tenured or tenure-track faculty members to be recognized as a University of Wyoming Provost’s Term Professor. I asked that each college/school submit up to two nominees of exemplary faculty whose scholarship, creative activity, research, or community-engaged contributions are on a very positive trajectory. I'm pleased that almost every college/school put forth the 1-2 nominees, for a total of 14.  Every one of the nominees are excellent and it will be difficult to choose the 4 positions that I have available.  I'm currently reviewing the nominations and expect to finalize the selection process in January.

I look forward to seeing many colleagues and around 350 UW graduates and their families and friends at our Winter Commencement ceremony this coming Saturday, December 10th. If you are faculty and would like to process in with our students, plan to be at the UW Fieldhouse by 8:30 am, and I will see you in line.

With all the holiday celebrations, this week and next, take extra care this weekend!

Regards, 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu
Dear Colleagues,

I hope you had an enjoyable holiday break with family and/or friends.  Now we engage with the mad dash to the end of the semester.

A few information items from the recent Board of Trustees meeting:

  • The Graduate Program in Ecology (“PIE”) will be renamed as Program in Ecology and Evolution (“PIE2”).
  • The BoT approved Notices of Intent to develop (1) a Master of Engineering in Energy and Petroleum Engineering and (2) a Bachelor of Science in Ranch Management and Agricultural Leadership.
  • It also authorized undergraduate certificates in (1) Land Administration and (2) Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage.
  • The movement of WyGISC into the School of Computing was approved.  This process will be complete as of July 1, 2023.
  • We provided the BoT with updates on three major undertakings with which we have been engaged in a partnership with Student Affairs. 
    • First, we described how Saddle Up will be modified and improved for the Fall 2023 cohort of freshmen. The changes include greater emphasis on a meaningful classroom experience, expanding move-in from one to two days, providing more time for meals, and giving students more options in their activities.
    • Second, we updated the BoT on our strategic planning process and received constructive feedback on the current advanced draft.  We plan to bring the final version to the Board in January for approval, and you can view the current draft here. Our team is consulting with those impacted by the Strategic Plan, as noted in the Implementation Plan here.
    • Finally, we provided an update on the status of our new advising platform, Navigate.  I’m very pleased by the broad adoption of this powerful tool by our advising team and am very encouraged to hear the students are making good use of it.
  • Lastly, a momentous decision was made when the BoT voted to enter into an agreement with Chick-Fil-A.  The survey results strongly supported this decision, and we appreciate the engagement of campus (guess I’ll have to go to Greeley for Popeyes).

 
As I mentioned in a previous note, I’m very pleased that Dr. Matt Griswold will be joining us as the Vice Provost for Online and Continuing Education.  His appointment begins on December 19, but he is already very engaged with his new position as he has submitted for my consideration a 12-page plan for short, medium, and long-term activities and goals.  Good things are coming!

For those of you who are interested in what is happening in the higher-education landscape at a national level, you might be interested in reading “The Equity-Excellence Imperative”, which is a product of the Boyer 2030 Commission, an impressive group of higher-education thought leaders.  It is focused entirely on nurturing the success of undergraduate students at research universities with a clear call to arms to address and eliminate persistent achievement gaps among minoritized students.  I think that the essence of the report is captured in the executive summary:
 
How can U.S. research universities embrace the equity/excellence imperative?
Can we commit to equity as a necessary and defining precondition of excellence?
Can we conceive, prioritize, and invest in equitable undergraduate achievement?
Can we educate and support undergraduates for 21st-century world readiness?
 
The report articulates 11 “provocations” for universities to embrace as they pursue these goals.  All of them resonate with our programmatic priorities and serve to amplify the importance and urgency of the work we are doing.  Universities throughout the nation are embracing the report and using it in a variety of ways as a platform for meaningful discussion.  We are currently actively engaged with many productive initiatives to promote student success.  My hope is that this report can further facilitate, inform, and energize those initiatives over the next several months.

Cheers, Kevin C.


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,


I want to begin by acknowledging the tragic and senseless violence that occurred in Colorado Springs last weekend.  Given our close connections with Colorado, it is likely that some members of our UW committee had connections to those who were killed or injured or who were simply present and traumatized by what had to be a horrific experience.  My thoughts are with those who were directly impacted and with all members of our UW family - particularly our LGBTQIA+ community - who grieve for humanity when these senseless acts of violence occur.

Before we all head into the holiday weekend and spend much-needed downtime with family and friends, I’d like to offer some guidance on the FYS pause and hopefully clarify some confusion.

To answer some of the questions my office is receiving, it helps to clarify a logistical component that will have the most impact on how departments decide to handle the USP requirement. To accommodate the FYS requirement in our Banner system, the Office of the Registrar will make the USP FYS requirement an elective, which will allow for any of the three-credit hour USP courses to count as the FYS requirement. Per our HLC accreditation requirements, each program must maintain 30 credit hours of USP coursework, and each program must have a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework. This provides departments the flexibility to assist students in selecting a USP course that fulfills the requirement and positions them for success in the program

While we have been flexible on how programs wish to proceed in the pause to either provide the FYS course or options for the USP requirement, departments have asked if they can require students to take a specific course to meet their program requirements. While I support faculty and departments in selecting options for students that best meet curriculum expectations, the simple answer is that due to our system restraints, any USP course a student chooses to take during this pause will count toward their FYS requirement. Our common goal during this time is student success, and I know that each department has this in mind while creating a plan for students. If department heads have any questions about their FYS pause plan, please email me at provost@uwyo.edu and our team will assist. In the meantime, the FYS/FYE subcommittee will be having its first meeting soon, and plan to review and address questions relating to the pause.  I will have more information and will announce the members and charge of that committee next week.

I wish you all the best during this holiday, and hope you return next week recharged and excited for our upcoming commencement ceremony on December 10th!

Gobble, gobble,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 

There’s a lot to report this week. Happy reading!

It is time to start thinking about nominations for our Tobin Memorial and Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. UW faculty, staff, and student organizations are invited to nominate graduating or recently graduated students for recognition as UW’s most outstanding graduating seniors. These are the highest awards UW confers on undergraduates. Awards criteria include academic excellence and achievement, contributions and service to the University of Wyoming, active participation and leadership in co-curricular activities, and demonstrated good character and citizenship. Nomination letters are due by Friday, February 10, 2023. Please direct questions to studentaffairs@uwyo.edu or call (307) 766-5123 for further assistance.

The School of Computing is experiencing active growth in its first year, with Academic Affairs approving the appointment of Founding Adjunct Faculty in late October. SoC adjunct faculty are expected to contribute to building, growing, and enriching the School of Computing. These contributions could include but are not limited to playing a critical role in the initial planning and development of curricula, strategy, and operations; playing an active role in teaching, research, development, or engagement activities; serving on search committees for faculty and hiring; engaging in external funding opportunities; contributing to advancing cyberinfrastructure and computing applications and technologies; mentoring of students or research staff; or playing a lead role in bridging the school with departments. These instrumental individuals can be found here. The School is also currently accepting applications for their first faculty hires in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Big Data. These positions are part of a cluster hire in the School of Computing in partnership with other academic departments, and I look forward to seeing how these hires go.

Our office is working with Dean Parolin on gathering data on some national scholarship recipients. If any of our UW faculty and staff have been previously awarded competitive scholarships like the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Truman, Udall, Boren, Goldwater, Churchill, Gates-Cambridge, the Critical Languages Scholarship, and others, we would be interested in hearing from you. The idea is to establish a database of UW faculty/staff who have had these experiences and would be interested in educating students about them, encouraging students to apply, and providing advice on how to prepare a successful application. If a scholarship requires an interview, we would be grateful to have faculty serve on a mock interview committee. If this applies to you, and your interest, please send me a note at provost@uwyo.edu.

Some great things happened in the Union this week, as student displays were the cornerstone of our kick-off on Monday to International Education Week, a collaboration between the Global Engagement Office and students and faculty across campus who are engaged in some aspect of international education. This year’s theme is “Think Global: Your Power to Help Heal a Polarized World”. On Monday, the international student clubs organized country displays in the Union breezeway. UniWyo sponsored two cash awards, of which the Sri Lankan club took first prize, Indonesian club second, and Moroccan club third. The country displays are now up in the UniWyo branches on campus and on Grand Avenue. It’s a nice community embrace of our international students and their efforts to share their culture with the community.

Finally, I’d like to announce the addition to the team of Dr. Matt Griswold, who recently accepted the position of Vice Provost for Online and Continuing Education.  Matt has tremendous credentials, including building a strong portfolio of online programs at MSU Denver over the past several years.  He will start his appointment on December 15th and is incredibly excited to join the Poke community. Welcome, Matt!

Finally, I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to Dr. Ben Cook for his remarkable service as the Interim Vice Provost for Online Learning.  He is looking forward to returning to the College of Business to focus on the very successful MBA programs that he has developed over the past few years.  By his very nature, Ben will continue to be a wonderful asset for all things UW.

All my best,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I’m on the road and have been for the past several days.  Last Saturday through Tuesday, I attended the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), which was conveniently located in Denver.  This meeting is a major convening for land-grant institutions, and it is the first in-person gathering since the pandemic.  I enjoyed renewing connections with colleagues from across the nation and establishing new ones.  There were several inspiring and informative sessions, two of which stood out.   The session on Academic Freedom, Free Speech, and Freedom and Expression featured an exceptional panel of scholars from Arizona State, UC Boulder, and the University of Florida.  It was a rich discussion of historical confusion among these three issues as well as contemporary challenges that we face.  Should you be interested in a good read on such matters, I encourage you to read the extraordinary book Free Speech on Campus by Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman.  Chemerinsky is the dean of the UC Berkeley law school and a leading scholar on the supreme court in general and the 1st amendment in particular.

I was inspired by presentations from the University of Texas San Antonio, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of South Alabama, and Florida Atlantic University in the session “Lessons Learned: Strategies for Raising Degree Completion.”  While we are on the leading edge of many best practices that they identified (e.g., the use of the Navigate advising platform and a favorable student:advising ratio), I was inspired by other low-hanging-fruit approaches that can have a significant impact, such as a Student Achievement Committee that includes representation from all dimensions of the university (e.g., IT, registrar, students, advising, counseling, financial aid, residential life, and others) to identify and address specific barriers to student progress.  I look forward to discussing our ongoing commitment to student success.

Coincidently, representatives from RNL (Ruffalo Noel Levitz) are visiting UW this week to provide a comprehensive assessment of our recruitment and retention strategies and practices.  Kudos to Vice Provost Kyle Moore for organizing this visit.  I look forward to hearing their recommendations.

I’m currently in Portland, OR attending the WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education) Commission meeting.  Governor Gordon recently appointed me to replace David Jones on the Commission, where I will serve with fellow commissioners President Kim Dale of Western Wyoming Community College and Senator Fred Baldwin.  From my orientation on Wednesday, I’m excited by the many resources and opportunities that WICHE offers and promotes that can benefit UW.  You will hear more from me on this in the near future.

Cheers,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Just a few updates this week, and an exciting announcement from me, so read to the end!

The Division of Research & Economic Development is hosting a Broader Impacts (BI) 101 Workshop presented by the Advancing Research Impacts Society (ARIS) on Tuesday November 8th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The workshop will cover the history of the BI criterion, provide strategies for conceptualizing, developing, implementing, and evaluating BI activities, and share tips on leveraging existing resources and establishing robust partnerships to build your "BI identity." You can register for this workshop here. There is no cost for attendees. In conjunction with the BI 101 Workshop, the Division of Research & Economic Development is sponsoring a Community Engagement, Broader Impacts and Outreach Fair. This event is planned for Friday December 9th from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the Union Family Room. The Fair is free and open to the entire University Community. If you are a UW campus program or unit that is involved in community engagement, broader impacts (BI) and outreach and would like to showcase your program, please register your program here.

In recognition of Veterans Day, our office has coordinated with Veterans Services Center to host an impactful documentary on the UW campus. Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of meeting filmmaker and writer Mark Pedri, from Southwestern Wyoming, and we had a great discussion on the “Dear Sirs” film, which recounts Mark’s bike trek across Germany as he follows the journey of his grandfather as a WWII Prisoner of War, 75 years after he was there. The documentary is being shown across Wyoming and will be shown on Veterans Day, 11 November 2022, at 6:00pm, at the College of Business Auditorium. The doors will open at 5:30pm and a ‘Q&A’ session with filmmakers will be held following the showing.  The event is open to the public, but we ask that interested parties please RSVP to the Veterans Services Center – 307-766-6908 or vetserve@uwyo.edu.

Earlier this week, I sent an exciting note to Deans announcing a new opportunity for tenured or tenure-track faculty members to be recognized as a University of Wyoming Provost’s Term Professor. Nominees should be exemplary faculty whose scholarship, creative activity, research, or community-engaged contributions are on a very positive trajectory.  Recipients will hold the title of Provost’s Term Professor for three years and will be allocated a total of $25,000 for their discretionary use.  Up to half of the allocation can be used as a financial award added to the recipient’s current pay and all of it can be used to defray expenses associated with research, scholarly, or creative activity, including graduate stipends.  Recipients may use the award funds to hire research assistants, purchase equipment, participate in special training and travel, and fund other things that enhance their scholarship.  Deans may submit up to two nominees from their college or school, with a deadline of December 1, 2022.  We will be able to fund four professorships.  Awards will become effective January 1, 2023. I am looking forward to seeing the nominations!

Next week is First-Gen Celebration Week at UW, and Tuesday, November 8 is National First-Gen Celebration Day. Please join the rest of campus as we celebrate those students – and our own faculty and staff - by attending some events on campus, a list of which you can find here.

Stay warm,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

The snow is falling as I write this communication today, and I hope everyone is staying safe and warm. It feels good to slow down after Homecoming, but we aren't short of updates.

Yesterday, I met with the first of two finalists for Vice Provost for Online and Continuing Education and will meet our other candidate next week. Candidates submitted virtual lightning talks in place of campus presentations, and I would very much appreciate feedback from our campus community. If you have time, please read about them, view their talks here, and submit comments here. I  am grateful for the leadership of the search chair, Vice Provost Anne Alexander, the time and dedication of the search committee, and the excellent staff support of Kaylin Brooks for making this a great search process thus far.

The Carnegie Community Engagement Task Force has been doing incredible work toward our application to be a Carnegie Community Engaged university. Under the leadership of Dr. Jean Garrison, the task force has been collecting data from colleges and various units on community-engaged activities. I'm astounded at the amount of engagement our campus does with the community and state, and I look forward to seeing how all this comes together in the application. If you'd like to hear more about the work of the task force so far and to ask questions about how your work may be included, please attend one of the upcoming listening sessions on November 7 and 9th. You can read about those here.

The USP Next Gen committee has contacted me with a recommendation to pause its deliberations while establishing several ad hoc committees to focus on various specific issues, such as FYS. I am seeking feedback from the deans on this matter, but I expect that we will be supportive of the committee’s recommendations.  

As noted above, last week was a particularly busy one with all of the Homecoming activities. Doug Stark, Carissa Moffat Miller, and Joe Leimkufler were honored as Distinguished Alumni and Jim Neiman received the Medallion Service Award. They were all very appreciative of their recognitions while also being gracious honorees. Joe Leimkuffler (aka “The Bead Man”) lives in Covington, LA and it was fun sharing some Louisiana stories with him.

I enjoyed meeting with the A&S Board of Visitors last week. They are a small but highly engaged group who are enthusiastic about Scott Turpen’s leadership and the bright future of the college.

Sincerely,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Campus is buzzing this week with the excitement of Homecoming, Giving Day, and many other incredible events. But before we get to those, let’s jump into some updates from Academic Affairs:

An update on the pause to the First Year Seminar (FYS) requirement: my office has updated the 2015 USP website to include information on the pause, including a link to submit questions/concerns. We will be developing a set of FAQ’s to guide departments/units in this process. Remember this decision was made through a collaborative process that involved discussions with and feedback from the Deans, LeaRN, Faculty Senate, and Student Affairs, as well as a recommendation from Vice Provost Barrett in his role as the USP Coordinator, following the procedures laid out in UW Regulation 2-105, IV, D. Although FYS will not be required in Academic Year 2023-24, departments and programs that have sufficient instructional capacity may continue to offer their FYS classes and students may choose to take those courses for their general education requirements. They will also have the option of choosing an alternative course to meet the requirement. 

The Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning has been busy. The Survey of Assessment Culture launched this week and is available until November 16th.  Look for survey emails from Matthew Fuller (via Qualtrics), and email Heather Webb (hwebb1@uwyo.edu) if you have any questions. On Friday, October 21st, ECTL is hosting the second of four Teaching and Learning Academies taking place this academic year. These all-day academies feature presentations by UW educators sharing teaching strategies that have an impact on student learning. Sessions are available in-person, online and recorded. Attendees are welcome to attend for the entire day (lunch provided), sporadically as schedules allow, or request recordings of sessions. Find out what your colleagues are up to and how it might inspire your teaching. For more information and to register, please go to the ECTL website.

UW’s Giving Day launched at noon today. I’m honored to have already pledged support to many programs, including Food Security, The Black 14 Social Justice Summer Institute, and Saddle Up. If you are so inclined to give, even just $10 to any of our outstanding programs, visit this link.

Homecoming is drawing a big crowd of alumni and friends of our great institution. I hope to see many of you at the parade and game this weekend. See a list of events here and GO POKES!

Sincerely,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

As you may recall, in a message from me a few weeks ago, I listed the faculty positions that have been approved for the various units through the Central Position Management (CPM) process, as well as the additional positions funded by President Seidel to advance the scholarly priorities of UW. I'd like to update you on the search process for those positions. So far, of the 39 faculty positions allocated, the current searches underway are provided below, and we hope to add more to this list as the units launch the search process:

 

Central Position Management (CPM) positions

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

A&S

Psychology

TT/Asst

A&S

Music

TT/Asst

A&S

Psychology

TT/Asst

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

CALSNR

FCS

FTRC

CALSNR

Molecular Biol

TT/Asst

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

CEPS

Chem Eng

TT/Asst

CEPS

CAECM

TT/Asst

CEPS

Chemistry

FTRC

CEPS

Organic Chem

TT/Asst

CEPS

EECS

TT/Asst

CEPS

Atmos Sci

TT/Asst

CEPS

Physics & Astr

TT/Asst

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

CHS

Nursing

FTRC

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

CoB

Mgmt & Mrkt

TT/Asst

CoB

Economics

TT/Asst

CoB

Mgmt & Mrkt

TT/Asst


 


Peter Parolin, Dean of the Honors College, seeks proposals from UW faculty to teach a course for Honors in the 2023-24 academic year. If you are interested, you can submit your proposal here and contact Dean Parolin if you have any questions.

Please remember that the Strategic Planning Team has extended the Strategic Plan survey feedback deadline to Oct. 21.  You may also email comments to uwstratp@uwyo.edu by that same date if you have any last-minute feedback you’d like to make.  The Strategic Planning Council will meet on October 26 to discuss and synthesize feedback and make final edits for the draft they’ll take to the Board of Trustees in November for a work session.

I'm looking forward to attending the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference tomorrow evening. Dr. Cecelia Aragon has done a tremendous job of advocating for and supporting our Latina youth in the community, with this conference being just one example of the many ways she engages. Thanks to CC and her team for all the work to make this happen!

Finally, we have a new face in the Office of Academic Affairs. Ariel Daugherty has joined the team as our new Administrative Associate and will be working with Sr. Vice Provost Tami Benham Deal on faculty affairs. Ariel is a familiar face on campus, as she has held positions over the years in Student Financial Services, the Office of the President, and Human Resources. We are incredibly lucky to have Ariel on our team!

I hope you enjoy the last bit of fall weather this weekend.

Sincerely,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Regarding last week’s message and the pause of the First Year Seminar requirement, I was asked a great question during the Staff Senate meeting yesterday: about the potential effect the pause may have on the UW Summer Bridge program. I’ll take this opportunity to clarify that our Summer Bridge program is in good hands. I received word from April Heaney that they will be working with colleagues and partner units to either keep the current FYS included in our Summer Bridge programing, or help units select another anchor course. As a reminder, although FYS will not be required in Academic Year 2023-24, departments and programs that have sufficient instructional capacity may continue to offer their FYS classes and students may choose to take those courses for their general education requirements, or, departments may also have the option of choosing an alternative course with similar student learning outcomes to meet the requirement.  I deeply appreciate the thoughtful ways April and others across campus are addressing this pause.

I’m currently on a bus with students and faculty heading to Jackson today, to attend the 9th Annual Global Tech Conference and the College of Business Leadership Summit with our MBA students. I look forward to hearing about the exciting ideas our students have during the discussions. As soon as I return on Saturday, I will have the pleasure of attending the UW Art Museum National Advisory Board meeting. I’m excited to share important updates and learn about the great work Nicole Crawford and team have planned.

I won’t be on campus tomorrow to attend another exciting event hosted by UW: the one-day national IDEAS Workshop. This grant funded workshop secured and led by Dr. Nevin Aiken (SPPAIS) and Shelley Jewell (Education Abroad) is a great opportunity to showcase the University of Wyoming as a nationally recognized center of excellence for international experiential learning and innovative faculty-led study abroad programming to over 65 participants from 20+ other institutions across the US. Thanks to Nevin and Shelley for their outstanding work in securing, planning, and executing this prodigious opportunity.

The Strategic Planning Team has finished its last live Feedback Lab for UW staff, students, and faculty to attend, but they have extended the survey feedback deadline to Oct. 21.  You may also email comments to uwstratp@uwyo.edu by that same date if you have any last-minute feedback you’d like to make.  The Strategic Planning Council will meet on October 26 to discuss and synthesize feedback and make final edits for the draft they’ll take to the Board of Trustees in November for a work session.

The search for the Vice Provost for Online and Continuing Education is progressing nicely. We have received over 50 applications for the position and the search committee will meet tomorrow to identify semifinalists. 

As the weather changes and the heat in our homes turn on, I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone that there will be increased need in our community this season. Our local non-profit, United Way, is kicking off their annual campaign, and I hope we can step up to provide the financial support they need. As in the past, UW has partnered with United Way to make it easy for you to donate with payroll deduction. If you are so inclined to support, please visit this link.

With much gratitude for all of you,
 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to thank the campus community that devoted time this past week and a half for being involved with our candidates for the position of Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The search process is ending, and it is imperative that we get your feedback through our survey, which closes tomorrow, Friday, September 30, at 5:00 pm. If you haven’t already done so, please consider submitting your comments here. Before making his selection, President Seidel will meet with Cabinet and the Search Committee for final discussions and will review all feedback submitted online. I’d like to thank Vice President Kim Chestnut for her leadership chairing the search and to her and Chief of Staff Mandy Gifford for ensuring our candidates had wonderful campus experiences. Another big thanks to our entire search committee, who has given months of time and energy to the process, and who brought four great candidates to campus. Thank you!

Our Strategic Planning process is also ending soon. There is a final Strategic Planning Feedback Lab scheduled for next Wednesday, October 5, 8:30-9:30 AM, in person in the Union Family Room and available on ZOOM at this link. Thanks again to Vice Provost Anne Alexander, Vice President Kim Chestnut and all of our colleagues who gave time and energy to this important task.

I had the privilege of traveling to Provo, UT, last Friday and Saturday to join Black 14 members John Griffin and Mel Hamilton for the screening of a documentary – “The Black 14:  Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls” - that recounts the story of the UW Black 14 story and describes the current partnership between the Black 14 and the LDS church to distribute food to needy communities throughout the country.  The documentary was produced by BYU journalism students with assistance from faculty.  The screening was attended by BYU President Kevin Worthen, his cabinet, and several hundred members of the BYU community.  The video can be accessed here.

In recent weeks, I have been engaged in numerous conversations with various stakeholders about pausing the requirement of the First Year Seminar (FYS) beginning next academic year.  Deans have reported that, at this time, many of their academic departments do not have the instructional capacity to offer enough courses for their majors and staff the FYS program, which includes over 80 sections campus-wide.  This decision was made through a collaborative process that involved discussions with and feedback from the Deans, LeaRN, Faculty Senate, and Student Affairs, as well as a recommendation from Vice Provost Barrett in his role as the USP Coordinator, following the procedures laid out in UW Regulation 2-105, IV, D. His recommendation can be found here. Please know that I don’t take this decision lightly – there is much to admire and celebrate about the FYS.  However, resources cannot support our delivery of it on such a large scale for the near future.  Although FYS will not be required in Academic Year 2023-24, departments and programs that have sufficient instructional capacity may continue to offer their FYS classes and students may choose to take those courses for their general education requirements.  They will also have the option of choosing an alternative course to meet the requirement.  We will work with departments, colleges, and advisors to help students entering AY 2023-24 understand their choices and make decisions about substituting another USP-designated course, if needed, to meet our HLC accreditation standard of 30 credit hours of general education.  I also plan to appoint an ad hoc committee to review the FYS and make recommendations on how the program can be restructured to meet the needs of our students within the context of resources that are available to us.

Dean Scott Thomas and the College of Education are featured in an Inside Higher Ed article that highlights UW’s innovative program to connect with and encourage students from rural communities to pursue post-secondary education. Finally, I understand that a survey will be circulated today seeking input on campus preference regarding a “chicken-based” restaurant.  Vote early and often for Popeye’s!

Regards, 
 


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

As you are keenly aware, there is a great need for additional faculty to meet our basic instructional needs and to advance our research and scholarly pursuits. Below I have listed the faculty positions that are being assigned to the various units through the Central Position Management (CPM) process as well as 11 additional positions funded by President Seidel to advance the scholarly priorities of UW.  President Seidel’s initiative also included the allocation of 11 GRA lines. These lines were allocated to Ph.D. programs with significant potential for growth. While the allocation of these positions will move us in a positive direction, I fully recognize that many more are needed.

 

Central Position Management (CPM) positions
Central Position Management (CPM) positions

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

A&S

Theatre

TT/Full/Chair

 

A&S

Music

TT/Asst

 

A&S

Psychology

TT/Asst

 

A&S

SCGSJ

TT/Full/Director

 

A&S

English

TT/Assoc

 

A&S

Psychology

TT/Asst

2

A&S

English

TT/Asst

 

A&S

Anthropology

TT/Asst

1

 

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

CALSNR

AGEC

FTRC

 

CALSNR

FCS

FTRC

 

CALSNR

ESM

FTRC

 

CALSNR

Plant Science

TT/Asst

 

CALSNR

Soil Science

TT/Assoc

 

CALSNR

Molecular Biol

TT/Asst

1

CALSNR

Horticulture

TT/Asst

 

CALSNR

Animal Sci/ZP

TT/Asst

1

 

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

CEPS

Chem Eng

TT/Asst

1

CEPS

CAECM

TT/Asst

 

CEPS

EECS

FTRC

 

CEPS

Chemistry

FTRC

 

CEPS

Math/Stat

TT/Asst

 

CEPS

Organic Chem

TT/Asst

 

CEPS

EECS

TT/Asst

1

CEPS

Atmos Sci

TT/Asst

1

CEPS

Physics & Astr

TT/Asst

1

 

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

CHS

Nursing

FTRC

 

CHS

Kin & Health

TT/Asst

 

CHS

Social Work

FTRC

 

CHS

Comm Health

TT/Asst

1

 

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

CoB

Mgmt & Mrkt

TT/Asst

 

CoB

Acct & Finance

TT/Asst

 

CoB

Economics

TT/Asst

1

CoB

Mgmt & Mrkt

TT/Asst

 

 

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

EDUC

Teacher Ed

TT/Asst

 

EDUC

Teacher Ed

TT/Asst

 

EDUC

CLAD

TT/Asst

 

EDUC

SMTC

TT/Asst

 

 

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

Haub

Outdoor Rec

FTRC

 

 

 

 

 

College

Dept

TT/FTRC

GRA

Casper

Crim Just & Soc

FTRC

 

 

 

 

 

School of Computing

 

TT/Asst 3 positions

 




Many of you will be curious about the rationale behind the allocation of positions.  I relied heavily on the deans to identify their highest priority needs and went as deep into the priority lists as our budget would allow.  I consulted with President Seidel and VPR Chitnis before finalizing the allocations.  A priority for the CPM positions was to address critical instructional needs, which explains why 8/28 CPM positions were instructional faculty.  We have critical needs for leadership in Theatre & Dance, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the School of Culture, Gender, and Social Justice and thus department head/director lines were allocated for those programs.  We also allocated a position for the Director of the Creative Writing program.  Finally, please note that we are allocating funds to match School of Computing funds to hire three tenure-track faculty who would have joint appointments between the SoC and academic departments that will be determined by a search process led by Director Allen and departmental stakeholders.

The expedited process described above was largely dictated by a small window of time for making decisions that would allow programs to get their searches launched in a timely manner.  Going forward, my office will organize and support a more deliberative and transparent process at the university level for allocating new positions.  It will involve a request for proposals in the spring semester through which deans will respond with a prioritized list.  A representative committee of faculty, students, and administrators will review and make recommendations to me for priority positions.  These recommendations will inform our final decisions for position allocations and will allow us to have a plan in place when the new school year begins in Fall of 2023.  At the same time, I should note that I am exploring ways that we can fundamentally change our CPM process and move toward a model where colleges and schools are allowed to retain positions when they go vacant and not have to recompete to get them back.  There are budgetary complexities that must be considered and addressed before such a transition can be completed.

In closing, I'd like to take a moment of remembrance for a tragic accident that deeply impacted the UW campus many years ago. September 16th marked the 21st anniversary of a horrific car accident that took the lives of eight UW cross-country runners caused by another UW student on highway 287. Unfortunately, alcohol consumption was to blame. Let's take a moment to remember lives lost and find gratitude for those with us today.

Sincerely, 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

There has been a lot happening on campus, including some lively and productive discussions with the Board of Trustees.  I hope everyone has had a great week. Here are some updates to share:

I'm pleased to announce that the Office of Academic Affairs is sponsoring three outstanding colleagues to participate in the Academic Management Institute for women in higher education. This multi-session programming provides professional development for women leaders as they engage in topics such as: Leading in Ever-Changing Higher Education, Campus Cultures; Strengths Development; and the Future of Higher Education.  I'd like to congratulate Rochelle McCoy (UW-Casper-BAS program), Michelle Jarman (Wyoming Institute for Disabilities/Gender and Women's Studies), and Ashley Hope Carlisle (Visual and Literary Art) for being nominated and selected for this great opportunity.

In keeping with the theme of recognition, I was honored to attend and emcee the dinner last evening with our Board of Trustees, celebrating our faculty who received tenure, fixed-term rolling contracts, and promotions for this past cycle. It was a simple but beautiful event, and I enjoyed getting to know some new faces I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting yet. Tenure, promotion, and reappointment are the result of incredible dedication, hard work, and professional excellence, which I deeply value. I congratulate all who were honored on this great accomplishment. 

With Board of Trustees approval yesterday, I am thrilled to be moving forward with a major international student recruitment initiative that will help to grow the diversity of our student body and enhance the global impact and reputation of the University of Wyoming. We will partner with a company called Shorelight that has an impressive global student recruitment network and brings to the table extensive expertise in recruiting and, crucially, supporting the success of international students in the U.S. We hope to see new students joining programs across the colleges at UW as early as Fall, 2023. A big thanks and congratulations to Vice Provost Isa Helfgott and her team for pulling this together. 

In your email today is a campus communication announcing five finalists for the position of Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that will be on campus starting Monday. The candidates are Herman Shelton, Executive Director for the Access Center at Colorado State University; Zebadiah Hall, Director of Student Disability Services at Cornell University; Jennifer Nolan, Associate Vice Chancellor of Community, Equity and Inclusive Excellence at Washington State University; Rickey Frierson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University; and Oyibo Afoaku, Scholarship and Engagement consultant for the Hudson and Hollan Scholars Program at Indiana University. Each candidate will make public presentations, and there is a link in the communication to provide feedback. This is a critical position for UW, and we need your input. Thanks in advance for your participation.
 

Sincerely, 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

It was wonderful to see such a great turnout for the President's Welcome Back Celebration yesterday on campus. Hundreds of folks came out to gather, eat some good food, and listen to live music. It was an honor to serve falafel sliders and meet so many of you. I also enjoyed venturing into the Pokes Pub for the first time and enjoying a cool one with friends. I hope everyone enjoyed being together and celebrating the new academic year as much as I did, and I look forward to attending more of these events.  

During his University Address last week, President Seidel announced four new Presidential Faculty Fellows that will be working on some incredible projects. I'd like to take a moment to recognize them here:

·    Adrienne Freng, Criminal Justice, and past Faculty Senate Chair, will work with Anne Alexander and President Seidel on Strategic Alignment 

·    Ray Fertig, Mechanical Engineering, will work with VP Mike Smith and President Seidel on state communication and UW activities 

·    Mark Lyford, Botany, will work with VP Chitnis and President Seidel on promoting science in Wyoming 

·    Chelsea Escalante, Modern Languages, will work with Isa Helfgott and President Seidel on dual language work and international collaboration 

I look forward to seeing the great work to come from these projects.

The search committee for the Vice Provost for Online and Continuing Education met for the first time yesterday. Dick Merriman and his colleagues at Summit Search Solutions are assisting us with the search. Dick says that we already have over 40 applicants and feels that the pool is strong. We are hoping to have the search completed before we leave for the holiday break. Many thanks to the members of the search committee and Dr. Anne Alexander in particular for serving as chair of the committee

The draft of the Strategic Plan is still out for comment, and we will be announcing another Feedback Lab for later in September soon. After the Strategic Planning Team gathers feedback, they’ll release another draft that will include an Implementation Plan. I’d like to highlight one of the proposed goals outlined in the draft for the next few weeks to entice you to take a look at it! Goal One in the draft focuses on providing the infrastructure for every student to succeed at UW and beyond: “Enhanced Student Experience and Success. Provide access to an excellent liberal education that integrates classroom study and experiential learning to produce the transferable skills required for life, work, citizenship, and adaptation to the needs of a changing world, while promoting success for our students, both while they are students and throughout their lives.”  Several actions, commitments, and key performance indicators are proposed to move us toward this goal.

Looking ahead to next week, a lot is happening on campus. Our Board of Trustees will be meeting in person in Laramie beginning Wednesday and wrapping up Friday. You can find the Trustee's meeting agenda here . On Thursday, September 15, the Ellbogen Center for Teaching & Learning is hosting the first of four Teaching and Learning Academies taking place this academic year. These all-day academies will feature presentations by UW educators sharing teaching strategies that impact student learning. For more information and to register, please go here. Finally, Friday will be jam-packed with the STEM Carnival/Science Initiative Building Grand Opening and the Law School Building Groundbreaking Ceremony.

Looks like a cold front is coming this weekend. Stay warm!

Sincerely, 
 


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

This week really flew by, and a lot is happening on campus. Let’s dive into some updates:

President Seidel presented the State of the University Address yesterday in the Union Ballroom. We also heard from ASUW President Allison Brown, Staff Senate President Tim Nichols, and Faculty Senate Chair Renee Laegreid. It was wonderful to have many attend the event in-person, and I’m grateful to those who could join online. President Seidel provided many updates to current projects/initiatives that we are currently working on. Still, a key takeaway is that we are closely working with the leaders of Faculty, Student, and Staff Senates to achieve common goals and deepen shared governance on campus. If you missed the event, you could watch it on WyoCast here.

In his address, President Seidel noted that 10 new tenure-track faculty lines and 10 new graduate research assistant lines have been created outside of the CPM process. These positions will be allocated to programs that have strong growth potential through grant funding (e.g., by leveraging the new Chips and Science act), growth in Ph.D. programs, and/or generating additional tuition revenue through enrollment growth. The new faculty and GRA lines should tangibly move the University toward its goal of achieving R1 status. Both disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs are eligible to request positions. Deans have been notified about this opportunity and have been asked to submit their requests by Sept. 12.

Yesterday I was able to attend the grand opening of the School of Graduate Education. It was a great event with good food, tours of the new School’s space in Ross Hall, and many friends from across campus in attendance. I’d like to congratulate Vice Provost and Dean Jim Ahern and his team for all the work they do and for hosting such an outstanding event. A couple of photos from yesterday:

[photos not yet available]

I was also able to attend the in-person Feedback Lab for the Strategic Plan 2022+ Draft hosted by the Strategic Planning Team on Thursday. We had a lively and very productive discussion with attendees – many thanks to those who made time to come and provide their thoughts. A Zoom Feedback Lab is also slated for today, and our team informs me another Feedback Lab or two may be scheduled for later this month. Stay tuned for more information.

Tuesday evening, I had the privilege of meeting with the ASUW Senate. I gave them updates on major initiatives such as the reorganization of colleges, Saddle Up, and the strategic plan. They of course had many thoughtful questions and some excellent feedback on Saddle Up. I’m grateful to President Allison Brown and Vice President Kathryn Carrier for the opportunity to continue our important and constructive dialogue with students.

As previously mentioned, the Deans of each of our colleges have officially submitted their CPM requests for allocation of faculty lines. The number of positions will depend on the individual lines that we fill, but I have a minimum of $2.1M to work with. We are very aware that we have a critical shortage of faculty, and I hope this will provide some critical positions. A big thanks to the Deans for working together in this process.

The warm weather has been a pleasure, and I hope you will be able to get out and enjoy the holiday weekend. Go Pokes!

Sincerely, 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Congratulations on wrapping up the first week of classes. I've really enjoyed all the excitement felt on campus this week, and hope you felt good being back in the classroom.

We've spent time this past week updating some important information on our Academic Affairs website. There are updated syllabus guidelines for fall 2022, low enrollment course procedures (for thinking about spring 2023), as well as an important summary of how our student advising will be supported during the transition phase of the reorganization. We always list updates on the "What's New" tab on the website. We also have to remember that COVID has not left our campus. As the influx of those on campus has increased, so has transmission. The current UW COVID policy can be found here, and all faculty, staff, students, and visitors must follow the quarantine and isolation guidance provided by the Wyoming Department of Health.

If you didn't see the UW communication, the UW Strategic Planning Team and Council are seeking your input on the draft Strategic Plan, which can be found here. It's critical we have your thoughts about the direction and future of our great institution, so I encourage you to take some time to review and provide feedback, especially given the amount of time you all invested in unit dialogues and Idea Labs. We’d like to have feedback in by Sept. 30, 2022. You’re invited to attend one of two Feedback Labs (in-person only option – September 1, 2-3 PM, Union Family Room; or Zoom only – September 2, 11 AM – 12PM). You can also provide feedback using this survey or by communicating your thoughts to your Faculty Senator, Staff Senator, or ASUW representative. Vice Provost Alexander and Vice President Chestnut, co-chairs of the Strategic Planning Team, also welcome emails to them if you prefer to use that route.

As a reminder, applications for the third year of the University of Wyoming’s Academic Writing Fellows (UWAWF) are due on Monday, August 29. The UWAWF program promotes greater scholarly productivity through retreats, writing groups, mentorship, and community-building. This program is co-lead by Rick Fisher, director of UW Communication Across the Curriculum, and April French, a member of the inaugural UWAWF program and a Senior Academic Advising Professional in the College of Health Sciences. For more information, visit this link.

Finally, I'm excited about the grand opening of the School of Graduate Education in their new space. Please join us next Thursday, September 1 from 11:00 am-2:00 pm in Knight Hall 250, and out on the lawn of Knight Hall to celebrate. I look forward to seeing you there!

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely, 
 


 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Well, we are off and running!  Approximately 1300 students are participating in Saddle Up.  It was wonderful to see and greet them as they filed into the A&S auditorium Monday morning and completely filled it. 

arts_and_sciences_auditorium_640x480.jpg


It is also great to see Poke Packs, Mentors, and Trail Bosses navigate their way across campus and engage in lively conversations.  We will of course debrief after the completion of Saddle Up, but I’m very grateful for the extraordinary work by our UW community in bringing the program to life.  Next week I’ll share more about Saddle Up, including a great story that I’ll call “Front Row Mentality”.

I’m pleased to announce that the appointment of Cam Wright as inaugural Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences was approved by the Board of Trustees Wednesday morning.  Cam has served with distinction as Interim Dean for the past two years.  Feedback from both internal and external stakeholders was very positive and strongly supportive of Cam’s appointment.  Please join me in congratulating Cam.

I am in the process of a detailed review of low-enrollment classes (undergraduate classes with fewer than 10 students and graduate classes with fewer than 5 students).  I’d like to give a shout-out to Lane Buchanan in the Office of the Registrar, who has been extremely helpful in generating reports that help me see and understand courses that are under-enrolled for this fall and the historical context for enrollments in these classes.  The goal of this exercise is not to promote wholesale cancellation of classes and we certainly don’t want to make any moves that hinder student progress toward completing their degrees.  That said, we have over 160 classes on the books this fall that have 5 or fewer students in them and at least three times as many classes that don’t meet the minimum enrollment criteria.  I’ll be asking deans to work with department heads and faculty over the coming year to strategically address this issue with the ultimate goal of making efficient use of our resources, meeting the needs of students, and reducing the teaching loads of tenured and tenure-track faculty.

As we begin the new school year, we will be saying farewell to one of our valued team members in the Provost’s Office.  After 12 years of service, Faculty Affairs Specialist Aneesa McDonald will be departing the university on August 26, 2022.  Before Aneesa leaves, we invite you to join us next Friday, August 26th, from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, in Old Main 321 for an open house in her honor.  We are immensely grateful for all of the contributions Aneesa has made during her time at UW and in the Provost’s Office.  We hope you will take a few moments to join us in wishing her well.  I speak for the entire team in the Provost’s Office when I say:  Best wishes, Aneesa!  We will miss your professionalism, institutional knowledge and wisdom, humor, and commitment to serving our faculty, administrators, staff, and students, but we are excited for you as you continue your professional career.

Sincerely, 
 


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

In the wonderful cycle of renewal that characterizes higher education, two times are particularly exciting for me. One is commencement, where we celebrate the accomplishments of our students and wish them well as they move on with their lives and careers. The other is the beginning of the fall semester, where we welcome a new cohort of freshmen, transfer, and graduate students. Both are poignant reminders of the good and important work that we do. 

Here they come!

UW will host its inaugural Saddle Up session, a weeklong college preparation program, beginning this coming Sunday. Approximately 1500 freshmen will be emersed in the college experience to prepare them for academic success, acquaint them with campus resources, and make connections with fellow students and faculty that will facilitate their successful entry into the wonderful but often intimidating world of higher education. This program wouldn’t be possible without the support and extraordinary effort of over 100 UW faculty and staff as well as approximately 200 undergraduate Poke Pack mentors. I’d like to extend the deepest gratitude to the Saddle Up leadership team of John Houghton, Nycole Courtney, and Anne Alexander, and all the faculty, staff, and students that pulled together to create this incredible opportunity for our new students.

On Sunday, we host our New Student Convocation. Students, friends, and family will gather in the Arena Auditorium at 4:15 pm to welcome in our newest Poke class. I hope to see many faculty and staff there as well…please join me if you are in town!

It is well known that we have outstanding faculty at our university who routinely go above and beyond to support our students. They do this because they truly care and without any expectation of special recognition. A few days ago, I received a letter from a UW alumna who reached out to Dr. Danny Dale requesting assistance for an international student who was arriving from Sri Lanka. I asked her if I could share her letter with the UW community and she enthusiastically consented. If you want to read a compelling story, check this out.

Sincerely, 


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Straight from the Provost


Dear Colleagues,

Hard to believe it’s already August, and that very soon we are welcoming faculty and students back to campus. This also means there is more to share about what’s happening:

I was able to provide Deans and Directors with some good news this week. My office will be issuing an RFP soon for the allocation of faculty lines via our CPM process. The number of positions will depend on the individual lines that we fill, but I expect to have a minimum of $2.1M to work with. We are very aware that we have a critical shortage of faculty, and I hope these positions will address some of our most pressing instructional and research needs.

The School of Computing (SoC) is soliciting applications for its Founding Adjunct Faculty (FAF). These positions are standard courtesy academic appointments and provide the initial mechanism to affiliate faculty in key areas to the SoC in advance of future calls for tenure-track faculty positions in Computing. If you’d like to know more about this, visit this link.

Applications for the third year of the University of Wyoming’s Academic Writing Fellows (UWAWF) program are now being accepted. The UWAWF program promotes greater scholarly productivity through retreats, writing groups, mentorship, and community-building. This program is co-lead by Rick Fisher, director of UW Communication Across the Curriculum, and April French, a member of the inaugural UWAWF program and a Senior Academic Advising Professional in the College of Health Sciences. The deadline to apply is Monday, Aug. 29, and notification of acceptance will be made Thursday, September 1. For more information, visit this link.

Congratulations to our Construction Management program in the College of Engineering & Physical Sciences, as they were recently accredited by the American Council for Construction Education. Accreditation is critical and I offer my sincere thanks to Acting Dean Cam Wright, Department Head Tony Denzer, and Associate Professor Francois Jacobs for their work in standing up a great program.

Another round of congratulations is due to Pilar Flores and her team in the Student Educational Opportunity (SEO) office, as they were awarded funding for the McNair Scholars Program for another five years. This is incredible news for our students! Congratulations, and many thanks to our colleagues in SEO.

Finally, we have a new face in our office, and I’d like to welcome Kaylin Brooks, our new Program Coordinator. Kaylin will be assisting my office with various projects and daily tasks and is a great addition to our team. If you are in Old Main, stop in room 312 to say hello.  Welcome, Kaylin!
 

Sincerely, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Straight from the Provost


Dear Colleagues,

Just a couple of brief updates this week:

As previously mentioned, we are formally launching a national search for a Vice Provost for Online and Continuing Education.  Anne Alexander, Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Initiatives, will be chairing the search committee with the assistance of these great colleagues who have agreed to serve on this critical search:

Alison Looby
Eric Wodahl
Christine Wade
Sasha Skiba
Jenna Shim
Brent Pickett
Jayne Pearce
Kyle Moore
Jim Ahern
Ben Cook
Nycole Courtney
Faculty Senate Representative (TBD)
ASUW Representative (TBD)

The search committee has an aggressive timeline, anticipating that we will have on-campus interviews in early November. I will keep you posted as things move along, and a big thank you to our committee members.

We finally have all members on our newly formed Carnegie Community Engaged Task Force. Under the leadership of Jean Garrison, numerous colleagues have stepped up to prepare our application for the Carnegie Community Engaged University designation, which is due in May of 2023. Much gratitude to the following folks for serving the university in this capacity:
 

David Aadland
Vladimir Alvarado
Cecelia Aragon
Chad Baldwin
Curtis Biggs
William Bowling
Carolyn Brandt
Kipp Coddington
Kelly Crane
Kim Chestnut
Evelyn Edson
Steve Farkas
Pilar Flores
Rob Godby
Thomas Grant
Scott Henkel
Darrell Jackson
Elizabeth Jenkins
Suzann Koller
David Kruger
Mark Lyford
Brian Mealor
Kyle Moore
Brent Pickett
Richard Raridon
Shawn Reese
Barbara Rasco
Sandy Root -Elledge
Scott Seville
Ramesh Sivanpillai
Ronn Smith
Reinette Tendore
Jack Tennant
Matthew Whisenant

School of Computing Director Gabrielle Allen and WyGISC Director Jeff Hamerlinck met with me several weeks ago to discuss the possibility of moving WyGISC into the SoC.  There are several compelling reasons for why such a move would be beneficial. My office surveyed the faculty and staff within WyGISC and found that they were overwhelmingly supportive of the move. We have initiated a 2-13 review process with the Faculty Senate and expect to have their recommendation this fall. The Board of Trustees would make the final decision on the proposed transition.

I often reflect on my challenging entry to UW, which began just over a year ago. The first six months were a bit rocky! I appreciate the patience and engagement of UW faculty, staff, and students, as well as many alumni and external stakeholders, as I have become better acquainted with UW and the beautiful State of Wyoming. I’m also very grateful for the extraordinary leadership team with which I have the privilege to work. I’m proud of what we have collectively accomplished over the past year and I’m excited by the opportunities that are before us. Saddle Up is just a little over two weeks away!


Sincerely, 
 


 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Straight from the Provost

Dear Colleagues,

There's been a lot happening during the last two weeks, so let's dive into some updates.

As communicated earlier this week, Scott Turpen has been officially appointed as Interim Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. Scott also took the first step in building out a strong leadership team in the college by appointing three new associate deans: Susan Aronstein, Professor of English, Narina Nunez, Professor of Psychology, and Karen Bartsch Estes, Professor of Psychology. I look forward to working with them as the college develops a vision for its new identity. 

From an update on our reorganization process during our Trustees session last week, I am pleased to share the names of the three colleges that were impacted by the reorganization, which have also been communicated to campus this week:

·    The new name for the College of Engineering and Applied Science is: College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.  

·    The new name for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is: College of Agriculture, Life Sciences, and Natural Resources.  

·    The College of Arts and Sciences will retain its name for now.  

The new names were recommended by the colleges following faculty discussions this past spring. Just as the overall restructuring will take time to implement, there will be a gradual process for the new names of the two colleges to be fully represented physically and digitally. Our office is working with the colleges, institutional marketing, and advising managers to ensure a smooth period of transition for all, especially students. I will be sure to keep you updated on progress. This is an exciting time as we embrace change and look towards building a stronger UW.

Within the next few weeks, we will be formally launching a national search for a Vice Provost for Online and Continuing Education. A search committee is being formed now and Dick Merriman and his team at Summit will be assisting us with the search. Stay tuned for further particulars as we move forward.

A heads up that Rick Fisher will be leading the third installment of the Academic Writing Fellows program in the upcoming academic year. The productivity of faculty who have previously participated in the program is very impressive. Look for a formal announcement that will be coming from my office in early August.

Following a couple of years of delays because of the pandemic, I’m very pleased that the Black 14 Summer Institute is happening this week on campus. Several remarkable high school students are participating in the Institute, which will be concluding Friday with student presentations. Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to join the participants and the UW staff and students that are making this happen as we met with three members of the Black 14 in the alley behind Martindale’s. I had no idea about the amazing murals in the alleys of downtown Laramie, but in particular, I didn’t know about the Black 14 mural. It was quite moving to hear Black 14 members John Griffin, Lionel Grimes, and Mel Hamilton reflect on this most unfortunate chapter in UW’s history. In spite of the life-changing indignity that they had to endure, they remain strong supporters of UW and encouraged the Institute participants to pursue their college education at Wyoming.


Sincerely, 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,


I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend; it was nice to have the long weekend to think about what we can be grateful for. I was certainly recharged and ready to dive back into work this week.


It's hard to believe that we are already in July, and that next month we will begin to see faculty and students back on campus. We will have some new colleagues joining us this fall, and I look forward to seeing them at our New Faculty Orientation, on August 16-17th. Please pass along this registration link to new faculty members of the Poke community. We want them well prepared for fall. Additionally, in August, I will be offering some helpful information for the semester. For example, Disability Support Services has revised some policies and practices for testing and accommodation notifications. More to come about this, and other topics in August.  


As I mentioned previously, I have asked Doug Russell to lead an ad hoc committee to consider modifications to our RT&P policies and procedures. The committee has been meeting this summer and is working to identify how we can improve the process. I want to clarify a point of confusion that I have heard from a few folks and note that I am not asking the committee to review or comment on criteria for tenure and promotion. Rather, I have asked the committee to comment on the mechanics of the process. A big thank you to those serving on this committee. 


Another task force will have its first meeting in August. I'm preparing invitation letters to over 30 of our colleagues who have volunteered or been nominated to serve on a task force, under the leadership of Jean Garrison, to prepare our application for the Carnegie Community Engaged University designation. The application is due in May of 2023, and this committee will work hard through the fall and spring semesters. I will announce the names of the task force members next week.   


Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to Senator Al Simpson for being honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.  Sen. Simpson is a distinguished (double) UW alumnus and a beloved and tireless ambassador for the State of Wyoming.


Enjoy Jubilee Days, Cheyenne Frontier Days, and all the days in Laradise!

Sincerely, 

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Summer is in full swing in Laramie, and it's great to see colleagues out and about enjoying all this community has to offer.

As an update on the reorganization process: my dedicated team in Academic Affairs has been meeting regularly to review policies and procedures that will be impacted (or that will impact) the soft transition of departments to their new colleges. We are preparing guidance documents to address many of the questions about faculty, graduate and undergraduate, and staff/business processes. We are also developing a communication plan that will help everyone navigate the path to their new college. A big thank you to Anne Alexander who has graciously offered to take the lead of this work.
 
If you have questions about what to expect this summer and into the academic year regarding the reorganization, please send them to provost@uwyo.edu and we will weave them into our guidance documents and FAQs. Here are some examples of what to expect in the FAQ:

1.   Which college should I direct incoming students to for participation in Saddle-Up? 

a.   All student on-boarding activities, including Saddle-Up, will occur with the current college.  For example, all students in Zoo/Phys, LIFE, and Botany will attend the College of A&S Saddle-Up activities.​​​​​​


2.   How will the review of my reappointment, FTRC, tenure, and/or promotion case take place?

a.   Department reviews will continue according to department protocols, standards, and expectations.  Cases will be re-directed (in WyoFolio) to the new dean and college committee.  For example, all tenure cases in Physics &Astronomy, Geology & Geophysics, Chemistry, and Mathematics & Statistic will be reviewed by their departments and then by Dean Wright and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Tenure and Promotion Committee.  


3.   Will staff move with the departments during the soft transition?

a.       No.  The current staffing structure in the College of A&S will be used to support all departments until a university-wide staffing analysis and implementation plan has been completed. Once done, Academic Affairs will work closely with HR to establish processes for the relocation of positions. The staffing analysis is not being completed with the purpose of eliminating staff positions. Instead, it is intended to provide greater insight into job descriptions and actual duties our staff carry out and ultimately improve continuity between/among job families. The analysis may also help inform future business models and how business centers are structured within the various divisions/units across campus. 


This summer and throughout the academic year, my team will be meeting with deans and their business managers to support their efforts for a smooth transition.  We plan to host meetings with associate deans and impacted department heads in the fall. More updates and information will come as they develop. 

This week, we offer well wishes into retirement to an incredible colleague, Dean David Jones. I'd like to thank David for his extraordinary commitment to UW - as a faculty member in the Division of Communication Disorders, Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences, Associate and Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dean of the College of Health Sciences - as well as the great lengths he went to in leading the university’s COVID-19 testing and vaccine programs. Through all this service, he managed to keep his great sense of humor. With that, thanks for hanging in there with us, David, and enjoy retirement! 

I was able to enjoy a little downtime over the past week and a half.  I spent a few days at our CO cabin visiting with old college buddies and hiking in the Collegiate Peaks.  Susan and I then traveled back east and visited our son, Glenn, and his fiancé in Birmingham and my daughter, Sarah, in Knoxville.  They are both good people and are thriving and happy, which is all that a parent could hope for.

It is good to be reenergized and back to business at UW.  Today I’m with a group of Foundation and CEAS folks visiting the Genesis Alkali mining operation in Southwestern Wyoming.  I confess that I didn’t realize until doing my homework for the trip that 90% of U.S. soda ash production comes from Wyoming!

Enjoy the long 4th of July weekend…and be safe!


Sincerely, 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues, 

I’d like to recognize an ongoing project and send a special thank you to a team on campus that you don’t hear of often. Our colleagues in Institutional Marketing have always had a big lift in managing content on our website, but in recent months, much headway has been made. 

One website improvement that has recently been completed is Program Finder, a powerful recruiting tool students can use to research a major, program or course in a user-friendly manner. Institutional Marketing and the Office of the Registrar partnered closely to sync Program Finder with our current academic catalog, creating a real-time experience for prospective students researching UW. This project is one of a series of efforts underway to improve our website as the university’s primary marketing platform, including movement to a new Content Management System during the 2022-23 academic year. More information is forthcoming, and I’d like to offer sincere thanks to Mindy Peep, Michelle Eberle, Shelbey Prusia, Chad Baldwin, and everyone else involved in the effort.

A critical search for the university is underway with on-campus interviews for a new Associate Vice President for Human Resources. The search committee has brought in three outstanding candidates, and beginning this week, they will be providing  public presentations.  I encourage you to take part in the process, and provide your feedback through this link.  
 
Next week, I look forward to seeing an initial draft of the University’s next strategic plan. The Strategic Planning Council has been working hard to synthesize all of the feedback you’ve provided, and we intend to release the initial draft this month.  You’ll have plenty of opportunities in the coming months to provide feedback to the Council on the initial draft.

Several UW administrators met with the Joint Education and Joint Appropriation Committees in Casper last week.  We were asked to provide updates on various initiatives, including WIP, the School of Computing, the UW reorganization, and the Trustees Education Initiative.  As mentioned in last week’s letter, we were also asked by the JAC to provide a report that describes our general education program, which we refer to as the University Studies Program (USP).  While the conversation was challenging at times, it was a good opportunity to learn more about the concerns of some legislators and for us to provide them with basic information on how our degree programs are structured and why the USP is an essential component of our degree programs.  I appreciated Chair Perkins’ comments regarding the importance of engaging in dialogue where opposing points of view are heard and respected.

It was a beautiful evening on June 6 at Washington Park, where the International Student and Scholars team hosted their annual BBQ for international students.  I had the honor of being the grill master!  The turnout was tremendous, and the ISS team had to make an emergency run to Ridley’s for additional burgers and hotdogs.  I managed to not start any major fires and, as far as I know, there were no reports of food poisoning.  It was wonderful to see and hear people from all over the world laugh, play games, break bread, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.  It was a reminder of what is possible when we embrace our common humanity.

Sincerely, 

 

Dear Colleagues, 

We are slowly welcoming in summer and a new month. I'll keep updates brief this week so you can head back outside. 

I'm pleased to report the ad hoc committee that will be working to consider modifications to our T&P policies will be chaired by Doug Russell. The group is coordinating meeting times throughout the summer and starting to dig into the work. This won't be a quick process, and I look forward to seeing some recommendations by early spring 2023. You can read more about the charge and see the members here.

As an additional update on the UW Reorganization plan, the departments of Geology and Geophysics, Physics and Astronomy, and Chemistry have made the decision to begin their transition to CEAS a year ahead of the July 1, 2023 deadline. As a reminder, the departments of Botany, Zoology and Physiology, and LIFE programs have also made the decision to transition to CANR ahead of schedule. Several processes will be shifted, like reappointment, tenure, and promotion review, annual reviews, and sabbatical reviews to the new college, but staff support for these departments will continue to be provided by the College of Arts & Sciences until the university staffing and compensation analysis has been completed and a new staffing structure has been determined.  

As a personnel update, I'd like to welcome our new Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Dr. Parag Chitnis to campus. He hit the ground running this week, and I'm looking forward to working with him. Additionally, Dr. Bryan Shader has accepted the position as Interim Department Head of the new Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. Bryan has taken on many projects this year for UW, and we appreciate his leadership in this role. 

Finally, colleagues, it is June, which means we celebrate diversity during Pride Month. I'm incredibly proud to see all the events hosted on campus this month to raise awareness and increase support for our LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, staff, and community members. I encourage you to join any of the events hosted by UW's Multicultural Affairs and Laramie Pridefest, which you can check out here.  

Extending gratitude to all of you as we head into a weekend.

Sincerely, 
 


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu
Dear Colleagues,

 
As we look towards a summer pace of work and life, I will continue with these weekly updates when needed to keep communication and information flowing. I hope you are out enjoying some sun today. Here are a few tidbits of news from me:

 
For our colleagues in the advising centers, I'm pleased to report the appointment of Richard Miller as Director of ACES. Richard has served as interim for this past year with the retirement of former director, Jo Chytka. Richard has broad support from colleagues across campus, and I thank him for continuing the good work.

 
We have so many exceptional faculty at UW and I hope some of you are considering applying to the new Presidential Fellows Program. This position offers a great opportunity to lead as we implement the reorganization, new initiatives, and goals. The deadline to apply is June 1, and I look forward to working with the successful applicant.

 
On Feb 1, 2022, I established an ad hoc committee to examine and make recommendations on how we can make better use of the summer term and J-terms. I asked the committee to address questions about the scheduling of courses and their alignment with student progress toward completion, the current organizational structure of the sessions, financial incentives, marketing, etc. The committee, with representation from multiple units on campus, has collected data on past course offerings, surveyed departments on success and challenges, and is surveying students on how UW can better serve their summer and J-term course needs. The committee will share their findings with Dean, Directors, Associate Deans, and Department Heads later in the summer. Based on what I have learned, I see significant opportunities to better serve our students while also generating additional revenue to support our mission. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with the committee by contacting Vice Provost Steve Barrett at steveb@uwyo.edu.

 
I'd like to provide an update on the UW Reorganization plan. The Botany, Zoology & Physiology, and LIFE programs have requested to begin their transition to CANR a year ahead of the July 1, 2023 deadline. My team in Academic Affairs has studied the request and determined that it is feasible to begin a transition by shifting a number of processes like reappointment, tenure, and promotion review, annual reviews, and sabbatical reviews to the new college. Vice Provost Steve Barrett is working with advising managers and associate deans to develop a plan to support students as they transition to their new colleges. Vice Provost Jim Ahern will be working with the departments and college to ensure that current GTA allocations will be preserved. Staff support for these departments will continue to be provided by the College of Arts & Sciences until the university staffing and compensation analysis has been completed and a new staffing structure has been determined. Similarly, department/program budgets will be managed by the College of Arts & Sciences during this transition. I have also offered this soft transition plan to our physical science departments, and they are discussing the option. Even with this transition plan, there are still a lot details to work though – especially with regard to financial operations - and we will be working closely with deans and department heads to make this transition as smooth as possible.

 
As previously communicated in April, the footnote to SF0001 regarding our general education studies program stated: “Not later than June 1, 2022, the University of Wyoming shall report to the joint appropriations committee and the joint education interim committee on the general education requirements or other requirements for students seeking non-liberal arts degrees to take university studies courses or other general education courses outside of the students’ majors. This report shall include all regulation and policy incentives and disincentives to students used by the university to take extra-major courses, including any impact on student registration and the effects these requirements, policies, and other university actions have on student choice and the cost of education to students.” We have provided this report to the JAC/JEC and look forward to the opportunity to engage with the legislature next week in Casper regarding the structure and value of our general education (USP) requirements for all undergraduate majors. If you would like to see the report, please look at the submitted committee materials here.

 
Just a reminder that our new Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Dr. Parag Chitnis, will start next Tuesday. Let's all welcome him to our great campus!

 
Sincerely,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu


Dear Colleagues,

 
It has certainly been a whirlwind weekend and into this week, and I'm very glad to have some sunshine during my walks around campus. But don’t put your parkas away yet. Here's a few updates for you:

 
If you did not attend or tune in to the Board of Trustees meeting last week, there was some great news that came out of the business meeting on Thursday. As you likely know, UW has been provided allocations from the state for some much-needed salary increases. Although our allocation plan places emphasis on addressing those valued employees at the lower end of the pay scale, it is just a start. During the Thursday meeting, we had over a dozen staff from one of our custodial units provide public comment on the issues they face with such low salaries. I commend these individuals for showing up as an individual and collective voices to advocate for themselves and their colleagues. I was impressed with their professionalism and heartfelt comments. Our Trustees heard the call for support and provided additional financial support for our colleagues. You can read more about that here and I would encourage you to thank these members of our community for their work the next time you see them around campus.

 
As previously communicated, I have finalized an ad hoc committee to consider modifications to our T&P policies and procedures. The committee met yesterday, and we had a great initial discussion. The committee members and charge letter can be found on our website here  and I’d like to recognize these folks who have volunteered their time to contribute to this work:
 

Barbara Rasco, Agriculture and Natural Sciences

Andrew Kniss, Agriculture and Natural Sciences

Teena Gabrielson, Arts and Sciences

Doug Russell, Arts and Sciences

Mark Clementz, Arts and Sciences

Ronn Smith, Business

Scott Thomas, Education

Dave Bagley, Engineering and Applied Sciences

John Koprowski, Haub School

Tristan Wallhead, Health Sciences

Klint Alexander, Law

Cass Kvenild, Libraries

Mike Borowczek, Faculty Senate representative 

Thomas Grant, Faculty Senate representative

Tami Benham Deal, Academic Affairs

Aneesa McDonald, Academic Affairs

 
As I am sure you are aware, there has been much discussion over the past few days regarding how human sex is determined and what it means. Sex determination in animals, including humans is a highly complex process that is influenced by genes, hormones, and environmental factors that can result in outcomes that span the spectrum between what we traditionally think of as male and female. As Provost, I support and celebrate that spectrum. I am personally appalled by the hurtful comments made during the last commencement ceremony on Saturday and the deep pain that they must have caused for our non-binary and trans community. I am also pleased by how our campus community has come together over this issue. Our statements of solidarity with non-binary and trans folks have also attracted many emails and phone calls from individuals from Wyoming and across the nation who are incredulous that UW would support the notion that sex is not binary. It is not, and that is a scientific truth. If you are interested in learning more about how sex is determined in humans you might find this Scientific American article that President Seidel shared with me https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/stop-using-phony-science-to-justify-transphobia/informative.
 

Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 
This truly is one of my favorite weeks on campus, as we honor the journey that our students have successfully navigated and the “commencement” of the next chapter of their lives. It is also a time when we pause to recognize the excellence of our faculty.

 
On Thursday, I had the honor of attending the 2022 President’s Commencement Dinner. Over 170 members and friends of UW gathered to recognize student awardees, an honorary degree recipient, and many faculty awardees. You have seen a few campus announcements, and more will come soon, but today I would like to recognize all of them here:

 
Laramigo Award: Matthew Gray

Ellbogen Lifetime Award: Eric Moorhouse

Ellbogen Classroom Teaching Award: Marci Smith, Man-Chung Yeung, Jianting Zhu

Hollon Award: Justin Piccorelli

Humphrey Award: Ken Gerow

UW Foundation Stewardship Award: Chip Kobulnicky

 
The Presidential Scholarly Achievement Awards for tenured faculty at associate or full professor ranks who have demonstrated significant achievement in scholarship in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences are:

 
Susan Aronstein

Ben Markley

Conxita Domenech

Robert Kelly

Rachel Sailor

 
The Presidential Scholarly Achievement Awards for promising early-career faculty:

 

Michael Taylor

Chelsea Escalante

Whit Stewart

Patrick Witz

Ali Bicer

Corrine Knapp

Kelly Simonton

Morteza Dejam

Lauren McLane

 
UW’s Laramie campus Spring Commencement is tomorrow, May 13th. In three ceremonies, we will graduate over 1300 students. UW Casper will recognize its 81 graduates on Sunday, May 14. These future alumni have succeeded in some of the most challenging times in education to complete their degrees. I applaud every student who graduates on Saturday and Sunday and wish them all the best. During the Laramie campus commencement ceremony, I have the honor of recognizing our Honorary Marshals. The daily contributions of these campus leaders inspires all of us to move this institution toward greater excellence. They’ve devoted their professional lives and extraordinary talents to the advancement of their disciplines and to their students’ intellectual growth, and I'm honored to introduce them here: Daniel Rule, Mark Person, Mark T. Bittner, Tamsen Emerson Hert, Jim King, Dennis Coon, and Peter Stahl. My sincere thanks and congratulations to these great colleagues.

 
I want to thank everyone across the university community for bringing your voices to the Strategic Planning Team’s Idea Labs and Unit Dialogues this semester. As you know, Vice Provost Anne Alexander and Vice President Kim Chestnut worked with a Strategic Planning Team (SPT) of students, staff, and faculty to create this plan from the ground up. The big three themes they have identified as focal points for UW include people, processes, and culture. The Strategic Planning Council (a subset of the SPT) aims to release a very preliminary first draft of the plan in early June. You’ll have a chance to offer them feedback then if you want, and the Strategic Planning Council will also work over the summer to get feedback from stakeholders across the state. They’ll focus on getting another round of feedback from you and the rest of the university community in the fall. VPs Alexander and Chestnut figure this will include circulating their draft strategic plan and town halls, at a minimum. If you want to connect about any of this, please reach out to any rep on the Strategic Planning Council. And, a big shout out you all and to the Strategic Planning Team – thank you all for doing this important and extremely hard work this semester! 

 
As you might have learned in the campus announcement, the search for the next deans for the College of Business and the College of Health Sciences has been concluded with Board of Trustees approval. I’d like to welcome Dr. Jacob Warren as the next CHS Dean, and Dr. Scott Beaulier, as our new COB dean. I’m thrilled these outstanding administrators have joined our team, and I look forward to working with them. Please join me in welcoming them to campus this summer.

 
I would also like to thank David Jones for his sage leadership of CHS over the past several years and wish him well as he transitions into retirement. Thanks also to Rob Godby for providing excellent leadership to the College of Business as Interim Dean over the past year.

 
I’m very pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a School of Graduate Education. This is an important milestone in our aspirations to move toward our goal of promoting research and scholarly activity. I would like to express my appreciation to Vice Provost Jim Ahern for his excellent leadership in navigating the approval process over the past year. The launch of the School of Graduate Education will officially happen on September 1 and will coincide with the opening of its new home in Knight Hall.

 
While we will keep up with our communications, I recognize that, with the end of the spring semester, most of our faculty and students will transition into summer shortly after commencement. For many, the next few months are a wonderful opportunity to focus on scholarly pursuits, recharge personal batteries, and prepare to engage with another installment of an academic year. 


Enjoy!
 

Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

 
I'd like to take the opportunity this week to offer my thanks to our three Senate leads as their terms come to an end, and welcome in new leadership.

 
ASUW President Hunter Swilling and Vice President Colter Anderson have epitomized the best of UW’s students. Their leadership, collaboration, professionalism, and thoughtful approaches to tough issues have been unwavering during their tenure. I have enjoyed meeting with them over the year, and always appreciate their honesty and heartfelt advocacy for the student body and for what is best for UW. I know they have bright futures and wish them the best. Faculty Senate Chair, Dr. Adrienne Freng, and Chair-Elect, Dr. Renee Laegreid, have always brought strong faculty voices to the table. I thank them for their leadership and devotion to shared governance in difficult times, and for respectfully challenging opinions and processes. Staff Senate President Chris Maki and Vice President Brianna Casey are always willing to go the extra mile to make this campus a better place for our staff. I admire their advocacy for and dedication to our staff while also being invested in moving UW toward greater horizons. I thank them for always being collegial leaders. I look forward to the incoming chairs and presidents and hope to continue the good work.

 
On Wednesday of this week, we were honored to hear about the career of professor emeritus Dr. Jayne Jenkins, as the 2022 Buchanan Lecturer. Jayne offered life lessons, and future thoughts, sprinkled with humor and heartfelt stories. If you missed the lecture, you can view it on WyoCast here. I also enjoyed the opportunity to sit down and visit with President Buchanan, who remains highly invested in UW.

 
Next week will be fully occupied with Board of Trustees meetings, including Budget Committee meetings.

 
It really is the most wonderful time of the year as we welcome finals week and Commencement. Hundreds of newly-minted UW alumni will cross the stage on Saturday, May 14. They could not have gotten to this point in their lives without the support of our faculty and staff. We’ll also get to witness dozens of ROTC cadets, both Army and Air Force, be sworn in as Second Lieutenants. I hope that, amidst the flurry of grading and final projects, you are able to take in the wonderful activities surrounding our students’ culminating success, graduation!

 
This time of year is also when we celebrate more broadly the accomplishments of our community. It has been an absolute pleasure for me to personally congratulate Ellbogen Teaching Award recipients Marci Smith (Kinesiology & Health), Jianting Zhu (Civil and Architectural Engineering), and Man-Chung Yeung (Math and Stats), UW Foundation Stewardship Award recipient Chip Kobulnicky (Physics & Astronomy); Humphrey Award recipient Ken Gerow (Math and Statistics); and inaugural Laramigo Award recipient Matt Gray (Psychology). Last Sunday I had the pleasure of participating in the inaugural induction ceremony for the Tri-Alpha Honors Society, which recognizes high-achieving first-generation students. And last Sunday night I had the honor of recognizing the outstanding male and female student-athletes in the “Wespys” ceremonies (a raucous event!).

 
I have it on good authority that spring is only a few weeks away. My tomatoes are waiting impatiently under grow lights in the basement!

 
Regards,
 

Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,


Another week has flown by, and it’s been a good challenge keeping up with all that’s happening.
 

This week and into next, I’m working on wrapping up the search for the next College of Business Dean. I had a final meeting with the committee last week, and they have provided great feedback on our candidates. I’d like to thank the committee for their hard work and dedication in this search. Special thanks to Cam Wright for chairing the committee. I’m confident we will have an excellent dean.
 

These last few weeks of the semester our focus turns to well-deserved recognitions of our faculty and students. I’ve had the opportunity to share good news with some of the recipients of our annual faculty awards. A press release announcing all the faculty awardees will be out in a couple of weeks after we’ve had a chance to congratulate them in person at department meetings. These are some of our best colleagues, and it’s wonderful to honor them.
 

In the spirit of recognition, I hope you all saw the press release on the new Presidential Scholarly Achievement Awards. This is an excellent opportunity for our colleges to acknowledge their own faculty, and I look forward to seeing who our deans recognize.
 

Another avenue of recognition is through our reappointment, tenure, and promotion process. As previously communicated, I’ll be finalizing an ad hoc committee to consider modifications to our T&P policies and procedures. I hope to get that group together in the coming week to start making recommendations that we can tackle now, and then expand the group to focus on bigger picture topics and best practices we can consider at UW.
 

As the Colleges of A&S, Engineering & Applied Sciences, and Agriculture & Natural Resources are deliberating the renaming of their new colleges as part of the reorganization, I’d like to inform the campus community of another project we are launching to assist in our reorganization process. Early next week, an RFP will be released to search for a consultant that will spearhead an institution-wide staff classification and compensation study and implementation plan. Our goal is to complete the study by the end of summer, with finalization of staffing for new colleges by FY24 budget deadline of April 15, 2023. We've heard from many of you during strategic planning that there is a real need to take a 360-degree look at our staffing structure and compensation, including the correct alignment of job descriptions and duties. This is an opportunity for UW to do just that.
 

I’d like to give a special shout-out to UW Art Museum Director, Nicole Crawford, and Vice Provost for Global Engagement, Isa Helfogtt, for their inspirational act of collaboration. On Tuesday, they hosted two Tibetan leaders who showcased the redevelopment of the Tibet Museum, an institution in India run by the Central Tibetan Administration. It is my understanding that Isa and Nicole were instrumental in supporting and guiding this process, and it's great to see effective international collaborations from UW colleagues. I’m confident this kind of impact happens more than I know, and I’d like to learn more from faculty who engage on the international landscape.
 

Susan and I had the chance to take a “quick” road trip to Worland earlier this week, which allowed us to see more of our beautiful state and make some new friends. The Wind River Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful, and we got a drive-by glimpse of the travertine deposits at the hot springs in Thermopolis. In Worland, we enjoyed a lovely dinner with former Trustee Dave Bostrom and his wife Marilyn on Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning we spent a couple of hours visiting with Rep. Mike Greear and his team at the Wyoming Sugar Company, including a detailed tour of the 100+ year-old sugar-beet-processing facility. We then headed over to the Washakie Museum where we had lunch with members of the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. I had the opportunity to give a presentation on Saddle Up and answer questions regarding the current status of UW. We then headed over to the Washakie County Extension office where we had an opportunity to visit with Amber Armajo, Carrie Abbe, Angela Michel, and Caitlin Youngquist. It is clear that they take great pride in the work that they do with and for the citizens of Worland and Washakie County. We took the long way home by traversing the beautiful Big Horn Mountains before heading south towards Casper.
 

Take a breath. We are closing in on the end of the semester and the flurry of joyful activities that go with it. Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend ahead.
 

Regards,
 

Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I'd like to focus this week's communication on engagement. I know it is an incredibly busy time of year but taking part in important events  and discussions on campus is critical right now.

Of note, Tuesday night kicked off the annual Shepard Symposium, and it will continue through Saturday, April 23. I'm impressed with the breadth of events and conversations taking place. On Friday, April 22, 12-4 pm in the UW Union and via ZOOM, the student-led Sustainability Coalition is hosting the Laramie Community Climate Summit, which will feature regional and local speakers. The discussion will focus on recommendations for emissions reductions from Laramie’s joint community-university climate task force, which  includes representatives from Albany County, the City of Laramie, the University of Wyoming, and the broader community. It’s wonderful to see collaboration with our Laramie community, and I personally thank everyone involved. You can still register for the remaining events here.

The efforts in the search for the next Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are well underway. We continue to encourage you to take part in the process by suggesting nominations of individuals who might be appropriate for the opportunity during the recruiting process. You may provide their information here. The search committee would welcome your feedback regarding the qualifications and characteristics of the next Vice President. Please submit your comments here, as this information will be valuable to the search committee during the evaluation and assessment of candidates, which we expect to begin early in the Fall 2022 semester. I’d also like to congratulate Vice President Kim Chestnut, who has agreed to take on an additional role as interim VP for DEI. I know she will provide incredible leadership and care during this process.

Last week, I sent a note to Deans indicating we are moving forward with implementation of the approved restructuring plan for the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Engineering & Applied Sciences. The first step is to finalize the names of the three new colleges. Deans Okpodu, Rasco, and Wright will be following their college by-laws and other college policies for guidance on how this decision will be made and to ensure that the principles of shared governance have been honored. I have strongly recommended that colleges engage faculty, staff, and students in this discussion and provide them with opportunities to have a voice and provide feedback. Deadline for submitting the names of the new colleges is June 30, 2022. This time frame allows for feedback and it provides our Enrollment Management team with the time they need to ensure that all student-experience elements are built and live in time for Fall 2023 registration and to begin marketing efforts for new and transferring students. I encourage our campus community to look to the future of UW in this transformative time.

Finally, I want to thank Jean Garrison for leading the process of preparing our application to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to be recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged University. It will be submitted in early 2023. If you would like to be actively involved with this process, please feel free to contact Jean or me.

As always, thank you for all you do.

Regards,


Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,
 

Last weekend, I had the honor of attending the 2022 Benefit Gala for the UW Art Museum. It was an impressive occasion, and the venue was filled with hundreds of supporters who also have a deep appreciation of the arts and the incredible work of the UW Art Museum. I extend my gratitude to Nicole Crawford and the UW Art Museum Board for all the work and energy resulting in a successful fundraising event and a joyful evening.
 

We continue to host finalists for the College of Business Dean search this week. If you have had the opportunity to engage with our candidates or watch their campus presentations, please provide feedback here.
 

As previously reported, my office established a working group, under the direction of Vice Provost Steve Barrett and Registrar Kwanna King, that has prepared a draft of the next 4-year academic calendar for AY23/24 to AY26/27. This draft was previously presented to the Board of Trustees’ Academic and Student Affairs committee, and a final version will be voted on by the Board in May. If you haven’t already done so, please provide feedback here.
 

Looking ahead, I’m pleased to see our College of Arts and Sciences hosting an I.D.E.A.S. symposium next Monday. There’s a notable slate of keynote speakers addressing critical topics including community and global engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and digital humanities. There will be panels and a roundtable lunch discussion, and I encourage you to explore your own ideas at this symposium. You can still register for this event here.
 

As you are probably aware, in the recent legislative session a footnote to SF0001 was approved, which states: “Not later than June 1, 2022, the University of Wyoming shall report to the joint appropriations committee and the joint education interim committee on the general education requirements or other requirements for students seeking non-liberal arts degrees to take university studies courses or other general education courses outside of the students’ majors. This report shall include all regulation and policy incentives and disincentives to students used by the university to take extra-major courses, including any impact on student registration and the effects these requirements, policies, and other university actions have on student choice and the cost of education to students.” We are working on this report and appreciate the opportunity to engage with the JAC and JEC regarding the structure and value of our general education (USP) requirements for all undergraduate majors. We will share the report with the UW community when it is submitted to the legislature.
 

Next Monday I will spend the morning honoring and showing appreciation to our UW staff. UW Staff Recognition Day is from 8-10 am at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, and I am looking forward to meeting more of our amazing colleagues. I intentionally send this weekly newsletter to all UW employees, so that our staff feels included and valued because they do and offer so much every day. With that, I extend my deepest gratitude to our staff community, thank you!
 

Regards,

 
 
Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,
 

I hope you have seen the recent campus release announcing the finalists in the College of Business Dean search. Our first candidate is on campus today, and I encourage you to engage with our candidates if you are able, watch their campus presentations, and provide feedback on this important hire. Special thanks to the search committee, and chair Cam Wright for bringing five diversely outstanding candidates to campus.
 

I'm sure that by now, everyone has heard that we are in the process of developing a new strategic plan for UW. The robust team of faculty, staff, and students has wrapped up the first round of over 100-unit dialogues. If you have not heard about these dialogue sessions, I encourage you to reach out to your unit supervisor, as these are meant to be all-inclusive and everyone's voice deserves to be heard. The next round of sessions will be coming up soon.
 

This coming Friday I have the honor of addressing over 175 admitted students and over 286 of their family members at one of our Admitted Student Days. This is one of many that UW is hosting, and it is such a joy to see the excitement of incoming students. I'm grateful for the opportunity to attend these welcome events and want to thank Shelley Dodd and her team in Admissions for the effort they put into recruiting.
 

Speaking of students, I was pleased to see a campaign launched this week to support food security on campus. The "Every Poke Nourished" campaign started on Monday, will last a week, and is a great example of how we can continue to build a supportive and welcoming community that is dedicated to student success at so many levels. I look forward to seeing the UW Food Security Taskforce meet their $10k goal and putting those resources to good work.
 

Over the past several days I have been reviewing packages for faculty who are being considered for tenure and promotion this year. It has been a truly inspirational exercise to see the exceptional scholarly accomplishments, commitment to quality instruction, and meaningful engagement with communities by our faculty. As I mentioned last week, I’ll be assembling a committee to consider modifications to our T&P policies and procedures, but it is wonderful to know that the faculty who are navigating this process are first rate.
 

I'd like to take a moment to address the recent vandalism that occurred around the Aven Nelson Building. It is difficult to see hateful words and damage to our campus, with the understanding that this type of intolerable behavior affects our colleagues as they walk into work every day. I want you to know that I have personally been in touch with our UW Police Department, and they are working on this, and I hope that brings some relief to our colleagues.
 

In closing, don't lose your hats in all this wind, and have a great weekend.
 

Regards,

 

Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,
 

A critical search for UW ended last week, with the appointment of Dr. Parag Chitnis as the new Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Parag’s extensive administrative and research experience will be a great asset to our university, and I especially look forward to working with him and welcoming him to campus on May 31st. I would also like to thank Diana Hulme for her extraordinary service as Interim VP during this transitional period.

 
This week, I’m working on wrapping up the search for the next College of Health Sciences Dean. I had a final meeting with the committee yesterday, and they have provided great feedback on our candidates. I’d like to thank the committee for their hard work, dedication, and professionalism in this search. The search for the Dean of the College of Business continues, and I plan to announce finalists soon with campus visits to start late next week.

 
Today you will receive a reminder to participate in the FSSE (Faculty Survey of Student Engagement) Survey. Please be on the lookout for the Qualtrics survey link from FSSE. Your participation in this survey will be used to support the work of student learning at UW. We look forward to including your voice in this process and greatly appreciate your time. This year the two topical modules we have selected speak directly to work happening at UW: Transferable Skills, Career, and Workforce Development, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Thank you for being part of this important process.

 
The UW committee charged with updating the university’s approach to general education is in its first major feedback-gathering phase. Throughout April, the Next Generation General Education (NGGE) Committee is seeking input from stakeholders both on and off-campus. Please visit the Next Generation General Education website and click on the link to the online form to submit your feedback. Comments are being accepted through April 29. While on the website, check out the other information, including a list of committee members, current activities, and archival documents. The website will be used by the Next Generation General Education Committee to receive feedback from you throughout the redesign process. A big thanks to the committee, and the co-chairs, Susan Aronstein, Rick Fisher, and Jacquelyn Bridgman for leading this important effort.

 
The Math/Stats department is looking into the possibility of replacing remedial math courses with a co-requisite model. Remedial math courses slow student progress and often carry a stigma. The co-requisite model for math courses has been run successfully at many of our peer institutions for some time and has been endorsed nationally by Complete College America. This endeavor has my full support, and I thank Department Head Jason Williford for his work on exploring this approach. Stay tuned for more information.

 
A couple of weeks ago I put out a request to department heads/chairs, associate deans, and deans and directors seeking to identify individuals who would be interested in participating in an ad hoc committee to review policies and procedures related to tenure and promotion. I’m pleased that over 30 individuals expressed interest in this topic. We will work from that pool to identify a committee of manageable size and include representation from the Faculty Senate. I look forward to engaging in this important dialogue.

 
I see that the sun keeps pushing through the chill and snowflakes, and I look forward to warmer days on campus. Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend ahead.

 
Regards,
 
 
Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

If you missed it in the Big Picture last week, please take time to read the recent publication from Academic Affairs titled “Innovations”. In this issue, we highlight the incredible work of research and entrepreneurial activity by our faculty, students, and staff at UW. I was so impressed to learn about the work of these talented colleagues. Well done!


This week, two finalists for the College of Health Sciences Dean search visited UW for their campus interviews. We welcomed Dr. Marketa Marvanova, Dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy at University of Montana, and Jacob Warren, Director for the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities at Mercer University School of Medicine. These visits included public presentations, and I hope many folks were available to attend or watch on WyoCast. If you had the opportunity to interact with our candidates, or watch their presentations, I encourage you to provide feedback with our survey (link here), which will be open until this coming Sunday at 11:59 pm. I will meet with the search committee next week to hear their assessment and hope to make an offer soon.


The search committee for the Dean of the College of Business interviewed 10 semi-finalist candidates this past Monday and Tuesday. I am briefly meeting with all of them individually via Zoom on Friday, after which I will consult with the search committee and select finalists to bring to campus in April.
 

The Board of Trustees met this week with a packed agenda, and I wanted to share some updates:

•   President Seidel presented on UW’s COVID-19 status and the omicron variant. I continue to encourage you to make informed decisions for your personal health and note that nothing has changed in our current policy.
 

•   We are looking to the future of fundraising, as President Seidel and Vice President Ben Blalock presented a proposed list of fundraising priorities for UW. Our goal is to support and recognize faculty excellence, leverage ongoing initiatives (e.g., the Science Initiative, Tier 1 Engineering, Trustees Education Initiative, and AMK Ranch), enhance student success (e.g., Saddle Up and Cowboy Coaches), generate more endowed faculty positions to retain and recruit outstanding faculty, and leverage new programs such as the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the School of Computing to name a few. You can read more about the initiatives in the materials from the meeting found here.
 

•   My office established a working group, under the direction of Vice Provost Steve Barrett and Registrar Kwanna King, that has prepared the draft of the next 4-year academic calendars for AY23/24 to AY26/27. This draft was presented to the Academic and Student Affairs committee this week, and a final version will be voted on in May. If you haven’t already done so, please provide feedback here.
 

•   Along with our Trustees, I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Science Initiative building this morning. It was great to see such progress on this visionary facility, and I look forward to our future in research and collaboration in this space.
 

•   Finally, as a first step toward reviewing policies and procedures that support our mission, I am assembling an ad hoc committee to review those associated with RTP. I issued a broad request for interest to department heads/chairs, associate deans, and deans and will be seeking representation from the Faculty Senate.
 

We started this week with heavy hearts, from news that we lost an incredible colleague in a tragic accident, Dr. Jay Norton. I didn’t have the honor of knowing Jay but have heard from many about the incredible person and colleague he was. I send my heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends and know that his impact on our community and campus will live on.

 

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend. Enjoy the warm weather!
 
 

Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,
 

To keep our communications coming, but in full recognition that many are out enjoying spring break this week, I will keep this week’s message very brief.
 

As I mentioned last week, finalists for the College of Health Sciences Dean search will be visiting beginning next week. One more finalist has withdrawn from consideration, but we have two strong candidates coming to campus. The candidates are Marketa Marvanova, Dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy at University of Montana; and Jacob Warren, Director for the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities at Mercer University School of Medicine. These visits will include public presentations in which the campus community can participate in-person or virtually. Be looking for a campus announcement soon that will have more details on the presentations and feedback surveys.
 

The search committee for the Dean of the College of Business will interview 11 semi-finalist candidates next Monday and Tuesday. I will also take time to meet with these candidates, prior to receiving recommendations from the committee on finalists to bring to campus. I will keep you informed on this search as it continues to progress.
 

The Board of Trustees will be meeting in-person next week and there is a lot on the agenda, see links to materials here. I encourage everyone to tune in to the committee meetings and full board sessions but will also provide some highlights in my message next week.
 

We are heading into a heavy event season, with commencement, programming, and lots of recognition ceremonies. I’m looking forward to attending those I can, and glad we are making the time and effort to be together in celebration of the great accomplishments of many.
 

Thanks again for all you do!

Regards, 


Kevin C. 
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone has stayed safe and warm this week. Although spring break is just around the corner it seems like there is always an abundance of work and events, with no shortage of updates to share.

Strategic Planning efforts are in full swing, and we are thrilled with the participation so far. Two “Idea Labs” have been held to date – the first on the Future of Online and Residential Learning at UW, and yesterday’s on Becoming a Carnegie Engaged University – and featured excellent cross-unit discussions on mission-centered topics. Upcoming Idea Lab topics are here, and more sessions are being added as we speak, so stay tuned for more. Two units, Information Technology and Communication and Journalism, held their first unit dialogue sessions this week, and we appreciate their candor and thoughtfulness in those sessions. Thanks also go to our Strategic Planning Team members, Sue Koller, Warren Crawford, Valorie Lymon, Ivan Sapien, Chris Maki, and Sreejan Nair, who facilitated these first unit dialogues.

As I mentioned last week, finalists for the College of Health Sciences Dean search will be visiting campus soon. One finalist has withdrawn from consideration, but we have three strong candidates coming to campus beginning the week of March 21st and look forward to their visits. Further information on the finalists has been sent out today in a separate message. The search committee will welcome input on the candidates and will distribute a survey link and visit dates to campus next week.

The Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce the launch of the FSSE (Faculty Survey of Student Engagement) on March 22nd. Faculty, instructors, and graduate teaching assistants who teach at least one undergraduate course during AY 21/22 will receive an invitation to participate in the survey via email from FSSE Survey, Qualtrics (noreply@qualtrics-survey.com). UW has been participating in FSSE for many years and we are pleased to continue our participation to better understand how UW can support the important work of student learning. We invite you to access data from previous years on our Assessment for Student Learning website.

I have been deeply disturbed by the legislation proposed by the Wyoming Senate that would prohibit the teaching of gender studies at UW. While I respect the right and responsibility of the Wyoming legislature to govern, I unambiguously object to legislation that attempts to prescribe what and how we teach. There are real and significant potential consequences for such legislative interference in our curriculum. Indeed, I attended the American Council on Education (ACE) meeting in San Diego a few days ago and heard from many incredulous colleagues across the nation on this matter. Many of our colleagues across campus have personally reached out to me with concerns. I strongly encourage you and them to engage as citizens of the state and express those concerns with a reminder about UW Regulation 12-4 and using your personal email to contact legislators. You can be sure that we have vigorously opposed any legislation that would propose to control what we teach or that marginalizes any members of our university community.

I’m in Las Vegas at the Mountain West Championships. Although our Cowgirls made an early exit from the tournament, I congratulate them on a successful season. I look forward to joining President Seidel and a raucous group of Wyoming fans this afternoon as the Cowboys take on UNLV…go Pokes!

If you are heading out on spring break, enjoy it! If you are on campus next week, I hope to see you around.
 

Regards, 
 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you have enjoyed the spring-like weather this week and are braced for another round of snow that is coming! Let's dive in with some updates I'd like to share.

This week, UW was proud to host a ceremony launching the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (WORTH) Initiative on Wednesday, March 2nd at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. This unique initiative will provide real-world experiences for students, courses and certificates, training, and outreach services. The WORTH initiative will serve as a hub for our state's tourism, hospitality, and recreation industry. You can read more about the opening here.

The Division of Student Affairs has issued a call for nominations for the Tobin Memorial and Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. Please consider nominating graduating or recently graduated students for these prestigious awards. All nominations must include a letter that describes why the student is being nominated and how the student meets the award criteria. Awards criteria include academic excellence and achievement, contributions and service to the University of Wyoming, active participation, and leadership in co-curricular activities, demonstrated good character and citizenship, and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fall 2021, Spring 2022, or Summer 2022. Nominations are due by 11:59 pm on Thursday, March 10, 2022, and should be sent to Student Affairs at studentaffairs@uwyo.edu.

With the naming of Dr. Gabrielle Allen as Director, we are entering the start-up period for the School of Computing. During this early phase, the school will be organizationally housed in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Under Dr. Allen’s leadership, the SoC will focus on hiring faculty, prioritizing and offering courses and certificate programs, and working with other UW units and Wyoming community colleges to develop a sequence of first-year and sophomore-level courses for students interested in majoring in computing-related programs. The SoC will partner with interested UW departments to create minors in computing. Please watch for announcements about ways you can participate in this transformative new academic unit.

Next week UW is launching NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) among our first-year and senior students. We last administered NSSE in Spring 2020 before UW entered the world of pandemic restrictions. Back then, 78% of responding first-year students and 80% of responding seniors reported feeling challenged to do their best work in their courses. It is time to check in on how things are going. This survey will give us data on how our students are feeling about a wide range of their UW experiences including specific aspects of the classroom experience, extracurricular plans, UW support services, interactions with their peers, faculty, and staff, and how they are spending their time. All first-year and senior students will receive the first email invite on Wednesday, March 9 from nsse@nssesurvey.org. Thank you for your help in our efforts to obtain a high response rate and collect useful and interesting data by encouraging students to participate.

Nine semifinalists for the College of Health Sciences Dean search were interviewed last week. From this impressive group, four finalists have agreed to join us for campus interviews. Details will be forthcoming soon.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is beyond reprehensible, and the human tragedy is gut-wrenching. Anastasiia Pereverten is an undergraduate Ukrainian student who is at UW for a study-abroad experience this spring. She is a remarkable young woman and is deeply impacted by the evolving tragedy. In case you missed it, the Boomerang did a top-fold story on her on March 2. We also have Russian students studying at UW that are impacted by financial sanctions and who I’m sure have their own personal perspectives on what is happening. We live in a troubled and endlessly complex world. I urge you to actively look for opportunities to support students, faculty, and staff who need it more than ever. We have many resources and support systems in place for those who need it, so please do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Regards,



Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I hope all of you have survived our first artic blast of the year and are taking preventive measures to stay warm and safe. I tested positive for COVID last Saturday and have been working from home this week. Thankfully, my Pfizer vaccine + boost allowed me to experience only mild symptoms and I’m looking forward to getting back to Old Main next week. My home wifi has been a bit frustrating as I have tried to stay up with Zoom meetings and our dogs have inserted themselves in meetings several times. It is a reminder of the challenges that many of you faced and continue to face as you navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

I am pleased to report that the searches for the next Deans of the College of Health Sciences and the College of Business are continuing to make good progress. The search committee for the College of Health Sciences Dean, chaired by Dean of UW Libraries Ivan Gaetz, and I are hosting Zoom interviews with nine semifinalists this week. By mid-March, finalists should be arriving on campus for the final stage of the search. Be looking for an announcement for ways you can meet and provide feedback on the candidates.

The search committee for a new Dean of the College of Business, chaired by Acting Dean of the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences Cam Wright, and with support from Parker Executive Search firm, is in the advanced stages of advertising and soliciting applications. If you are aware of outstanding professionals and leaders in the field, I strongly encourage you to recommend and nominate potential candidates before March 4 at this link. We expect to identify and interview semi-finalists in March and interview finalists in April.

Our goal is to have our new deans in place by the beginning of the new academic year.

I am especially pleased to announce that Vice President of Student Affairs Kim Chestnut will be chairing the search for the University’s first Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A big thank you to the following individuals for agreeing to serve on this important committee.

Committee members include:

  • Jose Ivan Sapien, ASUW
  • Cliff Marks, Faculty Senate
  • Aleah Biertzer, Staff Senate
  • Melvin Arthur, Kinesiology & Health
  • Teyon Ware, Athletics
  • Becky Garcia, Internal Audit
  • Jill Johnson, Global Engagement
  • Jacquelyn Bridgeman, School of Culture, Gender, and Social Justice
  • Reinette Tendor, NAERCC, CSIL
  • Mindy Peep, Marketing/Communications
  • Paula Martin, UW Libraries
  • Julio Brionez, Counseling Center
  • Melanie Vigil, Multicultural Affairs
  • John Griffin, External Member
  • Arielle Zibrak, UW Search Equity Advisor



The committee met early this week and will be working with Parker Executive Search firm to move forward in recruiting outstanding candidates for this position.

As for the Vice President of Research and Economic Development Search, President Seidel has invited two of the finalists back to UW for a second visit. I expect that the search will be completed in the next week or two.

Congratulations to Eric Nigh, Director of Arabic and Middle East Studies Program, Shawn Bunning, Assistant Director for Research and Development/Global Engagement Office, and their team on a successful implementation of Project GO - a $460,000 grant from the Department of Defense designed to strengthen the language capabilities and cultural awareness of up-and-coming members of the US Military. The program provides scholarship support, including preparatory Arabic course and orientation followed by a 10-week study abroad experience in the kingdom of Jordan. Thanks to their hard work, the university has been successful in recruiting ~30 ROTC candidates from over 20 institutions of higher learning hosting ROTC programs Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, California, Texas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Washington, and Montana to participate in this program.

In closing, I encourage you to take this time of year through the annual review process to celebrate our successes, reflect on ways to improve, and set ambitious and achievable goals for 2022!



Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I’ve spent a lot of time this week talking with many of you in faculty meetings, deans’ meetings, and conversations with department heads. These meetings are always informative, and I appreciate your candor and willingness to discuss difficult issues. I’d like to take the opportunity to clear up a few things and offer support where I can.

First, I have heard concerns, particularly from assistant professors, that UW does not value tenure. As someone who worked hard to navigate the tenure ladder, I can state with absolute certainty that I deeply value tenure and will vigorously support and defend it at UW. President Seidel and I have discussed this matter and we are in complete agreement. Any misunderstanding about our commitment to tenure is of deep concern to us. You will be hearing more about this from President Seidel and me in the near future.

Second, some of the feedback I have received suggests that there may be confusion about how our restructuring plan relates to the strategic planning initiative that is currently underway. Soon after our UW Restructuring Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees last November, we launched into our Strategic Planning process. The UW Restructuring Plan was developed in recognition that UW cannot continue to implement budget reductions while maintaining the status quo in our organization, degree offerings, and course delivery. The plan is intended to improve efficiencies and functions of the university. Implementation of the plan is in its early stages and will continue through at least July 1, 2023.

Strategic planning, on the other hand, is about planning for the future of UW by identifying our aspirational goals and priorities and identifying a path through which they can be realized. We will also identify institutional policies and procedures that need to be revised in order to achieve our objectives and improve our working environment. Under Vice Provost Alexander’s leadership, 65 faculty, staff, and students are organizing numerous opportunities for the University community and external stakeholders to provide input that will be essential to the development of a robust strategic plan that will guide us into the future. When the plan is drafted, there will be numerous opportunities for the UW community and external community to provide feedback on it before it is finalized. The plan will be concise and dynamic and will include metrics for measuring our progress. The strategic planning team is relying on your engagement with this process for the plan to be truly ours, and ultimately successful. Stay tuned for more information about how you can provide feedback.

As I mentioned above, we are in the early stages of implementing the UW Restructuring Plan. Some changes in organizational structures will occur on July 1, 2022, including: (1) relocation of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics to the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, (2) consolidation of the Departments of Electrical & Chemical Engineering and Computer Science, (3) move of the Early Care & Education Center to the College of Education, and (4) movement of the American Studies Program to the School of Culture, Gender, and Social Justice.

I have decided to retain the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences in its current form and have established a working group to make a recommendation on whether it should move to the College of Education or remain in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. This working group is chaired by Jeff Hamerlinck and consists of faculty from FCS and Education, as well as a Faculty Senate representative. This is not an official “2-13” committee but will serve in a similar manner. I’ve asked the committee to allow students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders the opportunity to express their thoughts and expect a report from the committee in April. If a decision is made to move FCS to Education, that process would be completed as of July 1, 2023.

Physics & Astronomy is continuing to work with Atmospheric Science to consolidate their departments and move to CEAS effective July 1, 2023.

Botany, Zoology & Physiology, and the Life Sciences Program have expressed an interest in initiating their transition to CANR beginning July 1, 2022. We are exploring possibilities, but it is certain that the transition would not be completed until July 1, 2023.

In the upcoming months, my office will be working with Departments, Colleges, Enrollment Management, Financial Affairs, and HR to examine ways to phase in the reorganization and to finalize the details for full implementation. We will keep you informed about significant developments along the way.

If you watched the Board of Trustees meeting yesterday you heard President Seidel recommend changes to the mask policy, including temporarily retaining the requirement for masks to be worn in classrooms where social distancing is not possible. By a narrow margin, the Board decided to lift the mask requirement for classrooms effective this coming Monday, February 21, 2022. You can read about the new policy here, but in sum, masks are still required in campus offices when requested by the office occupant or visitor, employees in medically related units, and on UW Transit Service buses, in accordance with federal rules. My office was immediately contacted by faculty and academic administrators who have concerns about this change, and I understand and empathize with you. In an effort to help you better understand the implications of this revised policy, my office has prepared a guidance document you can find here. I encourage you to continue to be excellent role models for our students by communicating the policy change to your students and supporting a positive and inclusive learning environment. If you have questions not addressed in the guidelines, please send me an email at provost@uwyo.edu or contact one of our Vice Provosts. We stand ready to help you in whatever way we can.

I will provide status reports on the VPRED, VPDEI, and two dean searches next week.

This is a lot to process today, but please know that we are listening and are working hard to support all of you. I thank you for your continued dedication to UW.

Sincerely,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, I have had the opportunity to meet so many more of our amazing colleagues, and I’d like to begin this week's message by bringing attention to a few of them.

Dr. Margaret Wilson, Department Chair for Theatre and Dance, was selected as a recipient of the Governor's Arts Award for 2020. Due to COVID, awardees were not celebrated last year but were acknowledged this past weekend at the awards dinner and ceremony in Cheyenne. This is an incredible honor to be recognized for excellence and outstanding service in the arts, and Dr. Wilson certainly deserves this award. There was a full house in Cheyenne and Susan and I were honored to join the celebration of Margaret’s accomplishments.

Susan and I also spent a fun last Saturday evening attending the "Pie-in-the-Sky" Dessert auction benefiting Laramie Reproductive Health. The cupcakes I won in the auction from our local Sugar Mouse Cupcake House were well worth it, but I spent the evening amazed at how our campus community showed up for this special event. Our own Anne Alexander, Chris Rothfuss, and Bryan Berryhill put their best face forward to raise the most money during the benefit. You might ask a couple of them how good that pie in the face was! I was also impressed with the talent of local musician and UW professor Jason Shogren, and Dean Peter Parolin who was a skilled and energetic auctioneer. I personally want to thank these folks and others who showed up in support and helped raise over $13k for the good work being done at Laramie Reproductive Health.

After seeing so much community commitment this past week, it seems appropriate to mention our newest award at UW, the "Laramigo" award for Community Engagement. Created by anonymous donors, the award recognizes UW staff or faculty members for their exemplary work both at UW and in service to the Laramie community. My office sent out an announcement on January 28th, so please check with your department head or dean if you are interested in nominating a colleague.

On January 22nd, I sent a note to all faculty for a call for nominations/applications for Director/Co-Directors for the School of Computing. I'm happy to report that we have 8 colleagues interested in the position. Dean Cam Wright and I will be meeting to review applications this week, and we hope to have an announcement out to campus in a week or so. Additionally, the latest update on our search for a College of Health Sciences Dean has attracted at least 45 applicants so far. The search committee meets on February 14th to identify semi-finalists.

As we launch into our strategic planning process and look towards the future of UW, I'd also like to let the campus know that our Next Generation General Education committee is already making progress. As it moves forward with its work of revamping and reimagining general education at UW, it seeks to work in dialogue and partnership with UW's many stakeholders. Accordingly, the first stage of the committee's work will be robust information and input gathering this spring from all of UW's constituencies. I recently met with the committee and reiterated the committee's charge, and I'm eager to see the progress. I would encourage the campus community to take part in the information gathering and input opportunities that will be available later this spring and throughout the process. A huge thank you to co-chairs Jacquelyn Bridgman and Susan Aronstein for leading this effort, and to all the committee members devoting time and energy.

As we head into Super Bowl weekend, let's cheer on a couple of our own student athletes. Former Cowboy linebacker Logan Wilson, a Casper native plays for the Cincinnati Bengals. A senior at Wyoming, he earned First Team All-America honors from Pro Football Focus, Second Team All-American from USA Today and Third Team All-American from Associated Press. Former Cowboy cornerback Tyler Hall is on the practice squad for the Los Angeles Rams. Hall was a three-Time Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference selection as a defensive back and kick return specialist at Wyoming. Best of luck to these two outstanding athletes, and I hope everyone enjoys the weekend!

Sincerely,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

We just closed out the first month of the new year, and Punksatawney Phil says six more weeks of winter! Phil obviously doesn’t live in Wyoming.

The four finalists in the search for our Vice President for Research and Economic Development wrap up their campus visits next week. I hope you have had a chance to engage with them or watch their campus presentations. Information on the campus presentations can be found here, and we will be soliciting feedback until Wednesday, February 9th at 12pm.

We are pleased to announce that the searches for the next Deans of the College of Health Sciences and the College of Business have moved forward to the phase of soliciting nominations and attracting interested candidates. Two excellent search committees have been assembled, the CHS search chaired by Dean of UW Libraries Ivan Gaetz and the COB search chaired by Dean of Engineering and Applied Science Cameron Wright. We have engaged Summit Solutions and Parker Executive Search, respectively, to assist us in our recruiting efforts. The recruitment process is underway with plans for conducting finalist interviews in March and April 2022. Advertisements have been placed in major venues, but the campus community can help us reach a wider pool of applicants. We strongly encourage you to take part in the search process by suggesting nominations of individuals who might be appropriate for these opportunities. Please use the links below for more information on applications, or to submit nominations:

Dean, College of Health Sciences
Dean, College of Business

On January 22nd, I sent a note to all faculty calling for nominations/applications for Director/Co-Directors for the School of Computing (SoC). The long-term vision of the SoC is to be inclusive of all disciplines. It will include faculty with joint appointments from across the institution and will develop multiple-pathway degree programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The SoC will leverage partnerships with corporations and state and federal agencies, will work with departments to develop computing minors within a broad range of disciplines and help develop a “Digital for All” component in the new USP. The SoC will be “incubated” in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, with a goal of being an independent school with a dean in the timeframe of approximately five years. I’m pleased that several UW faculty have expressed interest in this novel leadership opportunity and I look forward to reviewing applications with Dean Cam Wright.

In the effort to grow our research enterprise and attain Carnegie R1 status, I’m reviewing our internal processes to ensure the research work already being done by faculty is accounted for appropriately. For example, we recently confirmed that UW doesn’t report institutional (block grant) funds used for faculty salaries that are designated for research in the NSF HERD survey used for R1 classification. I am currently working with our colleagues in the Research and Economic Development Division and the Office of Sponsored Programs, and HR to refine our process.

I’ve also been working with our Deans to address the concern of accumulated earnings in endowment accounts. These excess earnings are classified into two categories, those with an earnings balance in excess of two times the annual earnings distribution (“2x”) and those in excess of four times the annual earnings distribution (“4x”). My charge to Deans was to use earnings to assure that no accounts were classified as 4x by the end of FY 22, and to make substantial progress toward eliminating earnings accounts classified as 2x. I’m glad to report that our college leadership teams are working hard to maximize these endowed funds for the benefit of our students and faculty.

Sincerely,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Our second week into the semester and there is no shortage of excitement and events on campus.

I had the incredible honor of celebrating our Top Professors at the 42nd Annual Cap and Gown Chapter of MortarBoard “Top Prof” celebration. 24 of our students honored distinguished faculty members for their significant contributions to our university, and the inspiration they gift in educating our students. I’d like to take the opportunity to recognize them here as well, and thank them for the dedication to students:

Mark Person, Modern & Classical Languages
Dan McCoy, Haub School
Kassandra Willingham, Molecular Biology
Chris Rothfuss, Honors College
Nicole Choi, Accounting & Finance
Mark Ritchie, Visual & Literary Arts
Amy Spiker, School of Teacher Education
Molly Burchett, Management & Marketing
Corey Billington, Management & Marketing
Evan Johnson, Kinesiology & Health
Karen Wawrousek, Chemical Engineering
Marsha Knight, Theatre & Dance
Kimberly Schweitzer, Criminal Justice & Sociology
Derek Smith, Kinesiology & Health
Kerry Sondgeroth, Veterinary Sciences
Erica Belmont, Mechanical Engineering
Catherine Hartmann, Philosophy & Religious Studies
Joe Carver, Music
Matthew Henry, Honors College
Bridget Decker, Molecular Biology
Ginka Kubelka, Chemistry
Gretchen Sewczak-Claude, Kinesiology & Health
Nicholas Prince, Management & Marketing
Jill Keith, Family & Consumer Sciences

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we have invited four candidates to campus in the search for our Vice President for Research and Economic Development. The finalists are Danny Dale, associate dean in arts and sciences at UW; Jayne Billmayer Morrow, assistant vice president for research and economic development at Montana State University; Parag Chitnis, associate director for programs at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at USDA; and Beth Plale, executive director for the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. Information on the campus presentations can be found here. I encourage you to be involved in this process, and we would like to gather your feedback on each candidate with this survey.

In another exciting announcement, we are very fortunate to have great partners in our UW Foundation, who are looking for nominations for the UW Foundation Stewardship Award. The Stewardship Award will recognize the leadership of a University of Wyoming faculty member who has excelled in relationship-building and stewardship of alumni and/or donors as evidenced through receipt of private gifts, engagement of former students in the activities of UW and/or the commitment to strong external relationships for the betterment of the University of Wyoming. The award will be announced in the spring at the President’s commencement dinner. The financial award will go to support the faculty member, as well as the faculty member’s college/department and another worthy unit on campus. The faculty member will receive $5,000, the college or department $2,500, and the recipient can direct another $2,500 toward a university unit or club. The award is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of effective stewardship practices and relationship-building opportunities and to give special recognition to those faculty members who make outstanding contributions to the culture of philanthropy at UW. Please consider working with your department head or dean and nominating your colleagues here. Nominations will be accepted until March 15th, 2022.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many great things happening all over campus, with much to be proud of. Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

Sincerely,

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

 

Dear Colleagues,

Beginning this month, UW is launching our new student-success management platform, Navigate. Navigate will now be available to continuing students and our “Phase I” users, which includes ACES, each of our college Academic Advising teams, Disability Support Services, Cowboy Coaches, Student Financial Services, and Scholarships and Financial Aid. Navigate will improve the student experience and ultimately lead to increased retention, persistence, and completion rates. Without your support, we cannot do this!

As an institution, we’ve recognized the need to improve our ability to 1) effectively communicate with our students; 2) efficiently notify our students of important tasks (e.g., holds, etc.) and requirements (e.g., missing documents); 3) empower our students to take responsibility for their educational experience; 4) efficiently track, annotate, and report student progress at early points and throughout the semester; and 5) efficiently refer students to various offices for special assistance (e.g., DSS, financial aid, etc.). Navigate will provide us with a system to manage these efforts. Navigate also provides powerful analytics that allow us to identify students who are at risk of not being successful in their major – based on several years of data of historical performance by UW students – and connect them with the resources and advising that they need to get back on track.

This system has been tailored to uniquely support UW students and therefore, will be the primary means for our Phase I users to communicate with students:

  • Navigate Student is a mobile app designed to help students effectively navigate UW. How do students communicate? Their phone, of course! Simple tasks such as checking their schedules, knowing their primary advisor, scheduling an appointment for advising, identifying class locations, knowing an offices’ hours of operation, etc. will now be at their fingertips. How about knowing add/drop dates, the mid-term schedule, or even when to return to campus? It’s all there! Students will be able to receive push notifications on their phones and get the information they need to be a successful student
  • Navigate Staff will transform the way professional advisors and other Phase I users communicate with UW students. They will now be able to access student information easily and instantly. Imagine being able to view an advisee’s major, sequence of courses, performance in critical courses, number of DFW’s, campus involvement, academic status, and so much more—on one page, in an instant. Imagine the ability to refer a student with financial concerns to billing and financial-aid resources, a failing student to a professional advisor, a struggling student to a caring peer mentor. Faculty will also be able to schedule appointments with students around their office hours. Imagine being able to send a group message to all the majors in your program with a specific GPA or within a certain number of earned credit hours for a scholarship, fellowship, or internship opportunity—instantly! Imagine the basics, being able to know who your advisees are, instantly and track them! I could go on and on, but you get the point.


A soft launch of Navigate Staff and Navigate Student rolled out this week for continuing students and Phase I users. We’ll expand users over the semester, and first-time students will be asked to download, and use Navigate during their onboarding experiences over the summer, including at Saddle Up, our new first-time student program. Professional advisors are training to use Navigate Staff this Spring and all faculty will have access to training as well.

We look forward to transforming the student experience through these personalized and interactive tools and appreciate your support. Please remember, none of this would be possible without your support.

Regards,



Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the new year and start of spring semester! I hope all of you were able to find some time for rest and feel renewed and excited to welcome our students back to campus next Tuesday. Let’s start with some updates that will be helpful as we head back into the office and classrooms.

In efforts to keep our campus healthy, the Board of Trustees voted in December to continue the mask mandate for now and will review again during the February meeting. My office has also prepared helpful guidance documents for your syllabi and course modality, which can be found on our webpage. If you need to get brushed up on the COVID plan for the semester, you can find it here. I’d like to remind all faculty at this time of UW Regulation 2-100 on class management, and the expectation that you will submit a waiver and justification to your Department Head and Dean for classes that do not meet the University’s enrollment targets. Class size requirements outlined in the regulation were temporarily suspended during the height of the pandemic but are back in place for Spring semester. Also of note, our subscription to the online app CircleIn has ended and been removed from WyoWeb.

It's been a busy week as I engaged in candidate interviews for the position of Vice President for Research and Economic Development. I’m very excited about the finalists that we have identified and look forward to sharing their credentials soon. Our intention is to host candidates on campus beginning the last week of January, so please watch for news on those and engage where you can. I’d also like to thank our search committee, whose dedication to the process has been incredible. Our dean searches are also progressing, and I expect that we will be interviewing finalists in March and April. We are also in the process of launching the search for the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Elevating this position to the vice presidential level demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our inclusive excellence initiatives and ongoing efforts to make UW a more diverse and welcoming community. Vice President for Student Affairs Kim Chestnut will be chairing the search committee and we are in the process of forming a committee, which we expect to announce next week. If you have suggestions on committee member nominations, please send them to provost@uwyo.edu.

I look forward to continuing my campus tour and meeting department heads, departments, and units, and hosting my next brown bag lunch with assistant professors. I have appreciated the professionalism and candor of our discussions and I am deeply impressed by the commitment to the mission of UW that I have consistently observed.

In case you missed the press release, our own Economics Ph.D. program ranks among the top 1% among all universities globally, and first in the Mountain West! This is an outstanding accomplishment and is illustrative of the dedication and brilliance of UW faculty and students. Kudos to Program Director Todd Cherry, Department Head Dave Aadland, and their colleagues in the Department of Economics!

We have an exciting year ahead of us, with many opportunities to be the best for our students and colleagues. I look forward to engaging with you and helping in any way I can. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Kevin C.

provost@uwyo.edu

2021-2016

Dear Colleagues,

I have met with at least 14 department heads, the Law School, Haub School, UW Libraries, and Office of the Registrar on my campus tour in the past couple of weeks. I'm enjoying the conversations and learning about the aspirations and challenges in each unit. Today I host the first brown bag session with ten assistant professors, all from different programs on campus. I've appreciated every conversation, even the difficult ones, and want to thank everyone for their time and thoughtful input.

If you were listening to the Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, you heard them engage in a discussion about the mask policy for Spring 2022. After a lively discussion, the Board voted to continue the mask mandate and will review it again in February, which will give them time to review data from the required all-campus surveillance testing in January and additional information/data associated with the Omicron variant. The Board also approved the proposed COVID plan for the spring semester. If you haven’t seen the Spring 2022 plan, you can find the redlined version here.

In October, I communicated to deans my intent to allocate funds to begin making critical hires for FY23. Earlier this week, I provided them with a list of approved positions and authorized them to begin searches effective immediately. For transparency to our campus community, approved appointments through our CPM process are:

 

College of Ag

Extension-Full Prof or Senior AP Associate Director UWE

ANSC-Asst Prof., Livestock Systems, Precision Livestock Management, RMAL

PLSC/UWE-Asst or Assoc Prof.

ANSC-Asst Lecturer, Livestock/Livestock Judging Coach

 

College of Ag in collaboration with A&S

LIFE-Lecturer/Lab Coordinator, Asst/Assoc

LIFE-Lecturer

BOT-Asst Prof, Forest Ecol/Mgmt

 

College of A&S

Mathematics and Statistics- Visiting Assistant Professor

School of Culture, Gender & Social Justice- Program Director/Associate Professor

Theater and Dance- Assistant Paqrofessor

Criminal Justice and Sociology- Assistant Professor

Anthropology- Assistant Professor

 

College of Business

Accounting/Finance-Accounting, Asst Professor

 

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Civil & Architectural Eng & Constr Mngmt-Assistant Lecturer/Assistant Instr Prof

Civil & Architectural Eng & Constr Mngmt-Assistant Lecturer/Assistant Instr Prof

*There will also be one hire in Electrical & Computing Engineering and one in Computer Science associated with the new School of Computing

 

College of Education

Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy, and Design-Assistant/Associate Professor

 

College of Health Sciences

Communication Disorders-Assistant Professor

School of Pharmacy-Assistant Professor

 
Haub School

ENR-Associate Professor



Also note that the Department of Mathematics and Statistics faculty recently voted to request that they be moved to the College of Engineering and Applied Science effective July 1, 2022. President Seidel and I support this request and we will be preparing for that move over the coming months.

Before we all head out for some holiday relaxation, travel, and fun, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all of you. I know the year hasn't been easy, but I continue to be impressed by the commitment and passion of everyone I meet. I appreciate you and look forward to working with you in the new year.

Sincerely,

 

Kevin C.

provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

We are in the final stretch before a much-deserved break. There’s a lot to cover this week, so let’s dive in.

I have enjoyed meeting many colleagues on my campus tour and look forward to hosting the first brown bag session with 10 assistant professors next week. I’ve also enjoyed attending holiday gatherings with students, staff, and faculty. It’s been wonderful to see so many of you.

We appreciate everyone who has attended the informal coffee conversations with Vice Provost Anne Alexander. Dr. Alexander has kept me informed and we are committed to continuing the dialogue in this process. There is one final opportunity to share your initial thoughts, so please join Dr. Alexander on Wednesday, December 15, 8:30 AM in the Rendezvous meeting room.

The deadline for strategic planning team nominations is December 15th. You can either nominate a colleague or yourself by submitting nominees here. We will consult with our shared-governance bodies and leadership of the colleges and other units to finalize the team. Work will begin in earnest the last week of January 2022 and will wrap up in October 2022. It is expected that team members, depending on their role, will need to devote at least 3 hours per week to the strategic planning project.

Our leadership searches are progressing. The search committee for the VP for Research and Economic Development will begin reviewing applications next week, with the first interviews in January. The search committees for the next Deans for the College of Health Sciences and the College of Business are reviewing position descriptions and working with the search firms to launch the application process prior to break.

The UW Board of Trustees will have a call next Wednesday, December 15th with public session beginning around 8:30am. President Seidel will be presenting the spring campus COVID response plan, and the board will vote on the mask mandate. I encourage everyone to tune in, so you know what to expect after break.

Finally, I’m thrilled to be participating in my first UW commencement this Saturday, December 11 at 9:00am in the Arena Auditorium. I had the great pleasure of selecting our Honorary Marshals, Dr. Cathy Connolly, Dr. Malcolm Holmes, and Dr. Peter Thorsness. These faculty have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the university and our students, and I’m honored to recognize them this fall. My congratulations to our honorary marshals.

With more holiday celebrations over the weekend and next week, I’m hopeful to see more of you. Take care this weekend.

Sincerely,


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable break with family and friends. It's back to work this week, and we have a short, but busy month ahead.

December marks my sixth month as Provost. While most of my time has been spent on the 2-13 and UW Restructuring Plan, I'm looking forward to getting out on campus and meeting more of you. My office has been busy scheduling a campus listening tour, through which I am meeting with departments/units and department heads. I will also be having a monthly brown bag with assistant professors. I'm eager to hear about the work you all do, and the aspirations and challenges across campus. Please look out for invitations to these sessions from my Chief of Staff, Mandy Gifford.

This week, we launched our UW Strategic Planning process with the informal coffee conversations with Vice Provost Anne Alexander. If you missed the first session on Wednesday, there are still opportunities for you to attend one:

  • Tuesday, December 7 8:30-9:45 AM – focused session for staff

  • Wednesday, December 8 8:30-9:45 AM – focused session for faculty

  • Wednesday, December 15 8:30-9:45 AM – all constituents welcome

We are still accepting nominations for those interested in helping to steer the process. Nominations can be shared here and should be submitted by December 15. We will consult with our shared-governance bodies and leadership of the colleges and other units to select the team. Work will begin in earnest the last week of January 2022 and will wrap up in October 2022. It is expected that team members, depending on their role, will need to devote at least 3 hours per week to the strategic planning project.

As we go into the season of holiday celebrations and eggnog, I hope to see you out and about. Have a great rest of the week.

Sincerely,

Kevin C.

provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

Just a few brief notes before everyone heads off to enjoy the holiday break.

Starting next week, we will launch our UW Strategic Planning process. If you are interested in participating, we are looking for champions of UW who are invested in our values, mission, and long-term success. If you think you or someone you know fits that bill, please nominate them or yourself at this link to be part of the team that will work on this important undertaking. Our guiding principles for this work will be that the process and outcomes will be transparent, give all stakeholders a voice in our future, will work to align priorities across our institution, and will embed accountability for change in our systems and processes needed to move forward. Nominations should be submitted by December 15. We will consult with our shared-governance bodies and leadership of the colleges and other units to finalize the team. Work will begin in earnest the last week of January 2022 and will wrap up in October 2022. It is expected that team members, depending on their role, will need to devote approximately 3 hours per week to the strategic planning project.

Additionally, Vice Provost Anne Alexander is holding some informal coffee conversations to begin the strategic planning process. These sessions will be held in the meeting room in Rendezvous on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, December 1, 8:30-9:45 AM – all constituents welcome

  • Friday, December 3, 10:15-11:30 AM – focused session for students

  • Thursday, December 7, 8:30-9:45 AM – focused session for staff

  • Wednesday, December 8, 8:30-9:45 AM – focused session for faculty

  • Wednesday, December 15, 8:30-9:45 AM – all constituents welcome

I want to extend my personal thanks to each one of you. I am grateful for the commitment and passion you bring to UW and our university is better because of you. I hope you can spend time with family and friends and enjoy some relaxation over the long weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

If you missed the Board of Trustees meeting this week, you can review the report here, and recordings of meetings can be found here. Today I’ll present to the Board my 2-13 recommendations to President Seidel, which can be found here. In that report, I stress the importance of our upcoming Strategic Planning process. Starting the week after Thanksgiving, Vice Provost Anne Alexander will be leading several informal coffee conversations to begin our kick-off for strategic planning. These sessions will be held in the meeting room in Rendezvous on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, December 1, 8:30-9:45 AM – all constituents welcome

  • Friday, December 3, 10:15-11:30 AM – focused session for students

  • Thursday, December 7, 8:30-9:45 AM – focused session for staff

  • Wednesday, December 8, 8:30-9:45 AM – focused session for faculty

  • Wednesday, December 15, 8:30-9:45 AM – all constituents welcome

In our planning process, I would like us to take an “appreciative inquiry” approach – a strengths-based approach to planning that focuses on our current sources of excellence. We offer the following questions to get the discussion started:

- What’s working well at UW? Tell me about a time you were proudest of UW or of your department.

- When we’re at our best, what does that look like?

- What does your program do better than others like it?

- What do we do that’s unique and makes us different from other universities?

- What systems/infrastructure is around you every day that helps you get things done?

- What internal processes are done well? What can we learn from those to help us improve those that aren’t?

Next week, we’ll also invite nominations and self-nominations for volunteers to join the strategic planning effort. Look for a note about that in the coming days.

If you are travelling next week, I wish you safe travels and a Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

Kevin C.

provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

It's been another busy week, but I'm thankful to be here and working with all of you. Here's what's been happening in the world of Academic Affairs.

If you missed the Campus Conversation last Friday that I co-hosted with President Seidel, you can watch it here. While there was a brief high-level overview of the UW Restructuring Plan, most of the time was spent on good dialogue with many of your colleagues. I appreciate everyone that joined the discussion and would like to take a moment to acknowledge our incredible faculty that have showed up in various times during this process. Whether you are tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure track faculty, please know that you are valued and heard. Over the next year I plan to engage in robust discussions that allow us to carefully consider optimal alignments while minimizing unintended negative consequences of restructuring. I hope through your participation in these discussions you will see the vision and determination we have to create a stable, sustainable and outstanding university. Please take another look at my final recommendations to President Seidel on the Academic Affairs website, and provide your thoughts on our new survey.

A few weeks ago, I communicated with Deans my intent to reallocate funds as available to begin a hiring process for FY23. Although the current budget situation will have an impact on the number of positions available for next academic year, our goal is to continue to recruit new faculty to join UW. My goal is to inform Deans which searches they will be able to initiate by the end of the calendar year.

It is also time for faculty to submit proposals for AY 22-23 sabbatical and professional development leaves. All proposals are due to Academic Affairs by 5pm on November 29th. My office will notify faculty of decisions by January 7th. Faculty who have been granted a year-long sabbatical are encouraged to apply for the Flittie Sabbatical Augmentation, with a deadline of January 21st for these materials. Please check in with your dean/director for more information on sabbaticals.

I would like to extend my congratulations to Dean Cameron Wright and the College of Engineering leadership, faculty, staff, and students for a successful ABET accreditation visit earlier this week. ABET is the accrediting body for engineering programs worldwide. While accreditation decisions won’t be final until the ABET board meets in July, we were encouraged by the very positive comments by the review team, as well as their constructive recommendations for improvements.

A two-person team from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design visited UW in September and reviewed our facilities and degree programs in Art and Design, Merchandising, and Textiles. The reviewers had several constructive recommendations for improvement and noted critical areas where additional faculty are needed. They were extremely complimentary of the UW facilities, including the Visual and Literary Arts building, the Coe Library, the Art Museum, and the American Heritage Center. They noted that we have excellent, collegial, and caring faculty. Kudos to Doug Russell, Chrissy Wade, and their faculty, staff, and students for promoting our excellent programs and facilities.

As a reminder, our Board of Trustees will be meeting in Laramie next week, November 17-19th. Importantly, they will review and provide formal guidance on our 2-13 recommendations for reorganizations. A highlight of the week will be spending time honoring our Trustee Scholars. I look forward to meeting some of the best and brightest Wyoming students. With that, I wish you the best going into the weekend.

Sincerely,

 

Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu








Dear Colleagues,

There is a lot to cover this week, so let’s dive in.

Yesterday, I submitted my final recommendations to President Seidel on the current 2-13 process and UW Restructuring Plan. While proceeding with many features of our revised plan as presented to the Trustees in October, including the restructuring of colleges, I am recommending additional time for further consideration and implementation of college reorganizations. The final recommendations will be released to campus by the end of the day tomorrow (Friday) when they are posted to the Board of Trustees website. They will also be available on the Academic Affairs website. I would like the campus community and external stakeholders to know that I appreciate your engagement and input and your voices continue to shape our plans as we move forward. I trust that you will continue to be engaged in the important dialogue over the coming year that will chart a course for the future of UW.

Additionally, I will be hosting an informal Campus Conversation tomorrow, Friday, November 5th at 12:00pm. During this time, I will provide a high-level overview of my recommendations, with most of the time dedicated to hearing your thoughts and answering questions you may have on the 2-13 process. Please join using the ZOOM ID 962 3134 9652. As always, 2-13 documents can be found on the Academic Affairs website, that now includes a summary of the most recent survey, as well as data from the two 2-13 surveys.

Last week I mentioned there would be an update on our current Dean searches. I am pleased to announce the search committees for the Deans of the College of Business (Chaired by Dean Cam Wright) and College of Health Sciences (Chaired by Dean Ivan Gaetz):

College of Business
CeeJay Berg
Ben Cook
Chase Thiel
Kat Vick
Kristine Fink
Matt Coulter
Nicole Choi
Todd Cherry
Tori Campbell
Josh Dorrell

College of Health Sciences
Sreejayan Nair
Nicole Eisenmann
Breanna Krueger
Qin Zhu
Greta Maxfield
David Brown
Evan Norby
Natalia Brown
Eric Moody
Jeff Klaus

New to our searches are UW Search Equity Advisors. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion launched this important program last year that pairs search committees with a neutral process advisor external to the unit to offer best practices for promoting diversity, identifying implicit bias, and ensuring an equitable search process. I’d like to thank Christi Carter and Teena Gabrielson for their determination and hard work in standing up this program, and our Search Equity Advisors for the dean searches, Arielle Zibrak and Chian Jones Ritten. I also thank John Ritten, who will be serving as the SEA for the Vice President for Research & Economic Development search.

We have engaged Summit Search Solutions to assist us in our recruiting efforts for the College of Health Sciences search and have yet to confirm a firm for the College of Business search. These searches are still in the early stages, but we expect to interview semifinalists in spring, with our incoming Deans on campus by July 2022. I would like to thank the members of these search committees for their time and dedication and will keep our campus community updated as the process continues.

Last week I noted that I would provide an update to clarify some confusion regarding the question of whether retirement benefits would be negatively impacted by the proposed budget reductions. The short answer is that retirement benefits will not change and will not be impacted by the budget reductions.

The voices of students have been prominent and important as we have navigated the 2-13 process. I’m particularly grateful for the engagement from ASUW, particularly ASWU President Hunter Swilling and Vice President Colter Anderson. Through this dialogue we have learned that many students are not aware of the major changes being considered for UW. As steps toward addressing that shortfall, I’m happy to report that we launched an Instagram story 2-13 Q&A last week. We will continue to explore new ways to engage, inform, and hear the collective voice of UW students.

Especially this week, I offer sincere gratitude to our campus community and am proud to be a UW Cowboy. In that same spirit, let’s wish our Cowboy Football team the best of luck at our Border War game this weekend.

Go Pokes!


Kevin C.
provost@uwyo.edu

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that UW has launched the search for the next Vice President for Research and Economic Development. We have engaged Parker Executive Search to assist us in our recruiting efforts. The recruitment process is underway, and several candidates have expressed interest in the position. We expect to interview semifinalists in early January and interview finalists in late January or early February 2022. The search committee is:

  • Naomi Ward, Botany

  • Lars Kotthoff, Computer Science

  • Holly Krutka, School of Energy Resources

  • Rashmi Thapa, Graduate Student

  • John Hoberg, Chemistry

  • Diana Hulme, Research and Economic Development

  • Christine Porter, Kinesiology and Health

  • Scott Seville, Zoology & Physiology

  • Hunter Swilling, ASUW

  • Rob Godby, Business

  • Tom Peterson, Engineering Advisor to President Seidel

  • Marsha Knight, Theatre and Dance

  • Gabrielle Allen, Research and Economic Development

  • Joe Holbrook, Haub School

  • Leslie Rush, Education

  • John Ritten, Agriculture and Applied Economics

  • Mohammad Piri, Petroleum Engineering

  • Todd Cherry, Economics

I would like to thank the members of this search committee for their dedication and for stepping up to the opportunity of filling this critical position. I encourage all of you to take part in the process by suggesting nominations of individuals who might be appropriate for the opportunity. You may provide their information using this link.

Additionally, we are launching searches for the Deans of the College of Business, and the College of Health Sciences. Dean Cam Wright is chairing the Business search and Dean Ivan Gaetz is chairing the Health Sciences search. I will provide more details on these searches next week.

Finally, there has been some discussion on campus that our plans for budget reductions might include reductions of retirement benefits for UW employees. We are gathering information on this topic and will provide an update next week.

As always, If you have any questions, please reach out to me at provost@uwyo.edu.

 

Sincerely,

Kevin C.

Dear Colleagues,

Many of you have reached out with questions regarding the UW 2-13 process, reorganization proposals, and budget-reduction plans. I understand there may be confusion with so many communications and changes at our university. To keep you informed with factual and up-to-date information, I offer some pithy answers to questions we have been receiving:

Q: The original reorganization proposal suggested that 65-70 people might lose their job. Is that number still accurate?

A: No. We expect the number of people that could lose their job to be much less than originally projected. We won’t know the actual number until we have completed budget reviews with deans and administrative units at the end of October.

Q: How will the $13.6M in budget reductions be made? How much of that will come from the proposed reconsolidations?

A: $5.34M of the proposed budget reductions would come from Academic Programs. The amount of savings that will come from reorganizations is in the process of being quantified, but they will be small, probably on the order of 5% of the $5.34M. 3% reductions to administrative programs will account for ~$2.6M, consolidation of auxiliaries ~$2.2M, increased parking fees ~$500k, possible changes to retirement policies ~$1.5M, and increased efficiencies in instructional delivery ~$750k. You will note that this number don’t quite add up to $13.6M, so we still have some work to do.

Q: Where are we in the 2-13 program-review process?

A: Based on feedback received from the 2-13 committees on Oct. 1, as well as comments from internal and external stakeholders, a revision to the reorganization plan was submitted to President Seidel on Oct. 13. We are now collecting feedback on the revised plan and will submit our final plan to the Board of Trustees ~Nov. 1. The proposal will be available for public comment until the Board takes action on Nov. 19.

Q: What are the degree programs being recommended for discontinuance?

A: The following programs are recommended for discontinuance, however, the final decision has not been made:

  • M.A, Sociology

  • M.A., Philosophy

  • M.B.A., Finance

  • M.B.A., Energy

  • Ph.D., Statistics

Q: Will the reorganization plans take effect immediately after the Board of Trustees takes action on Nov. 19?

A: No. After Nov. 19, we will initiate a process for implementing the changes, most of which would become effective on July 1, 2022. For some reorganizations, such as the consolidation of life-sciences programs in the new College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we may need an additional year to complete the organizational details.

Q: When will the budget reductions be implemented?

A: The budget reductions well become effective for FY 2023, that is, beginning July 1, 2022.

Q: Will there be additional 2-13 reviews?

A: Yes. We are now forming 2-13 committees to evaluate (1) specific degree eliminations in the College of Education and (2) reorganization of degrees other than Nutrition currently residing in Family and Consumer Sciences, specifically Human Development & Family Studies and Design, Merchandising, & Textiles. The new 2-13 notices can be viewed here. It is possible that additional 2-13 committees will be needed depending upon final recommendations from deans as they implement their budget reductions.

Q: You stated that you received 715 responses to the web-based survey portal through Oct. 1. A recent email that circulated on the faculty list-serve suggested that only 534 comments associated with responses were released. What happened to the other responses?

A: Not all responses included written comments. Many included only a multiple-choice response regarding overall support for proposed reorganizations or degree-program eliminations. N.B., A new online survey is now capturing feedback on the updated plan. This survey will stay open until October 27, 2021.

As always, I'm incredibly grateful and inspired by the commitment and passion of our campus community, alumni, and statewide stakeholders. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at provost@uwyo.edu.

 

Sincerely,

Kevin C.

Moving Toward UW's Next Horizons

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to another academic year. It feels wonderful to be here, experience the vibrancy of campus, see cars lined up to move into residence halls, and vehicles on Grand Avenue. This year is quite different from last year but far from what we have become accustomed to prior to the pandemic. While we face many ongoing challenges related to the pandemic and budget shortfalls, we have heard from faculty and students about their excitement to be back on campus and in the physical classroom and simply enjoy one another’s company. We are personally relieved and thrilled to see the campus come to life with bicycles, skateboards and animated groups of bright young faces interacting as they move across campus.  And we’re enjoying the opportunity to meet faculty and staff in person and to become familiar with the extraordinary facilities and resources on campus and around the state of Wyoming. The commitment of UW faculty and staff to this institution and the state of Wyoming is clear and palpable, and that makes us optimistic about the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on campus. We are very grateful to UW faculty for allowing the campus to return to in-person instruction and particularly appreciate faculty who have gently but clearly reminded students to wear face coverings in class. While we’re aware of one incident in which a student refused to wear a mask (the student was asked to leave class and complied), our personal observations, as well as comments from faculty, suggest that students are doing a good job of complying with the mask mandate. It is encouraging that 88% of UW employees and 66% of students report being vaccinated, but we need to do everything possible to increase those numbers, especially for students. David Jones has led a committee to develop recommendations for the university. Those recommendations will be shared in the next few days, but the overarching message is that we must continue to incentivize and encourage all faculty, staff and students to get vaccinated. 

We are facing ongoing challenges with budget cuts, and we fully appreciate the anxieties associated with them. We are proposing organizational changes that challenge us to think differently. We are understandably hearing a broad range of perspectives on the proposed organizational changes from students, faculty, staff, alumni and various external stakeholders. While there is often disagreement on various details of the proposed reorganizations, there is a strong sentiment of understanding and support that we can’t continue to simply absorb budget reductions and do “the same old thing.” Indeed, the proposed changes, informed by months of faculty, student and staff working groups, consultations with stakeholders across the state, and by national trends in higher education and pending changes in funding agencies, go beyond merely dealing with budget cuts. They are aimed at laying a foundation for making UW more competitive for students, more competitive for bringing in new revenue streams from funding agencies, and more impactful on our state’s future workforce and economy. We hope that you will engage with the review process that is currently underway and encourage you to submit comments and review materials that are available on the Academic Affairs website. We welcome your ideas on how UW might do things differently, either from our current operations and organization or from our proposed plans. Please consider also how your proposals might generate new revenue sources, perhaps from growth in enrollments including enhanced retention. We also welcome thoughts on how UW can generate support from outside sources, help better prepare our students for their future, or make us more competitive in various dimensions compared to our peers.

With challenges come opportunities. UW has one of the lowest student:faculty ratios among public universities in the nation, which allows us to have smaller classes and more meaningful interactions with students. However, half of UW’s classes have enrollments of 12 or fewer students. While we value our close interactions, we simply can’t afford to teach so many classes with low enrollments. Further, very small classes may lack a critical mass for dynamic discussions that include diverse perspectives among students. This issue is closely aligned with the university’s challenge of equitable teaching assignments. If we are more strategic about course offerings, we can better serve our students while also allowing for more equitable teaching assignments for faculty. Accordingly, we will be asking deans to work with department heads and faculty to examine course offerings to make more effective use of our teaching capacity.

As we navigate our immediate challenges, we are collectively positioning the university for an exciting future. The proposed School of Computing will provide a university-wide platform for transforming computational research and education across all disciplines and should generate much stronger funding streams from research agencies and corporate partnerships. We will be strategically pursuing recognition as an R1 and Community Engaged university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Our proposed changes are directly aimed at providing a stronger foundation for further building the university in the future, so we are better positioned to achieve such goals. Programs such as the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP), the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality (WORTH) programs, and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) will leverage UW’s expertise to promote economic growth and diversification throughout the state. And we are redoubling our commitment to student success through new initiatives such as the freshman boot camp (Saddle Up), renewed commitment to excellence in advising (including the data-driven Navigate advising platform), Cowboy Coaches, expansion of Living-Learning Communities and (re-) establishment of a Graduate School. 

All these elements will inform a new strategic plan and University Study Plan (USP) that will guide us toward UW’s next horizons. We look forward to working with you on these initiatives, and we wish to express our sincere appreciation for all that you do to make UW a great university.

Best wishes for a great semester…and Go Pokes!

Ed Seidel, President

Kevin Carman, Provost & Executive Vice President

 

To the UW community:

As outlined in today’s announcement, the proposed reductions and reconfigurations being presented to the UW Board of Trustees this week are immense and multifaceted. We expect that it will take some time to fully understand the details of the course we are charting for the future of the University of Wyoming. We also understand that there likely will be many questions for which you’re unable to find immediate answers.

While you familiarize yourself with the details and formulate your questions, we ask that you keep in mind the overriding causes and objectives involved in what we have proposed.

First, the reductions in state funding to operate the university in recent years -- amounting to $93 million per biennium, or 25 percent -- necessitate significant changes. There is simply no way to continue without reducing academic programs and restructuring to find new synergies and efficiencies.

Additionally, the changing economy and higher education landscape demand that we launch some new initiatives to better fulfill our land-grant mission for Wyoming. We must do some things differently to prepare our students for successful careers and lives; serve the state’s communities and industries; drive economic and social progress; and produce research to tackle the grand challenges facing the state and world.

Finally, we must position the university to become more competitive for students; for top-flight faculty and staff members; and for federal, state and private research support. The world is changing, becoming more digital and complex by the moment, and we’ll be left behind if we don’t act now.

Unfortunately, this means that some good people who have worked hard for this university will lose their jobs. As indicated in today’s communication and in materials prepared for the board, as many as 75 academic positions, including 10 department heads, could be eliminated if the Board of Trustees ultimately approves what has been proposed. This is a painful situation. The knowledge that universities across the nation are having to take similar actions doesn’t make this more palatable or easy to undertake. We have reached the unfortunate point at which it is necessary.

In the coming days, we will detail our proposals to the Board of Trustees, including the depth of program reviews undertaken and extensive data used to create the plan. The board’s approval is necessary to move forward with our plans, and legislators and others are certain to weigh in as well. We encourage you to watch our presentation to the board at its meeting in Torrington tomorrow afternoon via livestream or recording at https://wyolinks.uwyo.edu/trusteesjuly.

Our intention is to begin the process for academic reorganizations, consolidations and discontinuations under UW Regulation 2-13 next week. This will begin a process that includes the opportunity to provide input and possible revisions before the board officially reviews and approves, disapproves or modifies the proposals in November.

Other, non-academic reductions are part of our plan as well, and we expect to ask the board to act on those proposals in upcoming meetings. If they’re approved, all of our faculty and staff members will feel at least some impact from what is proposed.

Knowing that the initiation of this process will trigger a host of questions and concerns, we plan to conduct a town-hall meeting to discuss our proposals. The academic program changes, in particular, will require significant work by the Office of Academic Affairs, deans, department leaders and others. Many details will need to be navigated and finalized between now and November, as well as after expected board action in November.

None of this is easy. These are some of the toughest times in the university’s modern history. We would simply ask everyone to remember that we are all in this together; we’re working for the good and survival of UW; and the more creative and collegial we are, the more likely we will be healthy and strong on the other side of this challenge.

We remain resolute in our view that great days are ahead for our university. The people of Wyoming have resilience, grit and determination. These characteristics have helped us navigate a pandemic, and they will carry us through our financial challenges and restructuring opportunities as well. We will emerge stronger -- and poised to move toward our goal of being a vibrant, visionary research university with outstanding educational programs and an enduring commitment to serve the citizens of Wyoming.

Sincerely,

Ed Seidel, President

Kevin Carman, Provost and Executive Vice President

Dear Colleagues,

It is my honor and pleasure to write you on my first full day as Provost and Senior Vice President. I still have some unpacking to do in Old Main. Susan and I are getting settled into our new home but still have many boxes staring back at us. We have enjoyed being in Laramie and on campus the past couple of weeks. I am slowly getting familiarized with campus (including a tour of the amazing new Science Initiative Building!) and meeting the wonderful people who work and learn here.

I hope you are having a relaxing and productive summer. I know that we are all glad to be returning to life and work that more closely resembles pre-pandemic conditions. I am enjoying shaking hands again and even an occasional hug!

As a first order of business, I would like to thank Dr. Anne Alexander for her gracious and extraordinarily helpful support as I have transitioned into my new role. I’m pleased to announce that Anne will be staying with the Academic Affairs team for the next two years as Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Initiatives. In this role she will lead the update and implementation of the UW strategic plan, which will include a plan for implementing the four pillars identified by President Seidel. The updated plan will lay the groundwork for achieving ambitious goals for UW, including a new School of Computing and recognition as a Carnegie R1 research university. We will also initiate plans to apply for and be recognized as a Carnegie Engaged university.

Anne will also lead the launch of two major initiatives related to our renewed commitment to student success. The first is the implementation of the Navigate advising platform, which is used by over 400 universities nationwide. It provides sophisticated and nuanced use of institutional data to maximize student progression toward their degrees. The second initiative is the launching of a UW version of academic “boot camps” for incoming students that are similar to those implemented at my previous institution (NevadaFIT).

As you all know, we face challenges with implementing budget reductions in the near term. While the reductions will certainly be painful, we are committed to positioning the University for a bright future.

I begin my appointment knowing that I have much to learn about UW traditions, culture, strengths and opportunities. Next fall I look forward to going on a “listening tour” and visiting as many departments and programs as will have me. I’m also eager to engage in regular and meaningful interactions with the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate and ASUW leadership. In the meantime, I hope to meet as many of you as possible over the summer.

Sincerely,

Kevin Carman, Provost and Senior Vice President

Dear Colleagues,

As we close the weird and wacky academic year that was 2020-21, I know many of you are wondering how strategic portfolio review will roll out in the coming weeks and months.  The strategic portfolio review (SPR) committee completed its work and sent it to me on April 28.  The bulk of their report - the portion focusing on methodology - is posted here

So, what happens next with this? Here are some FAQ’s.

Q) What criteria will you be using to formulate recommendations?

A) Using the SPR report as a baseline to start, I’ll be looking, with the President and incoming Provost, at a number of factors, including margin contributions (fancy economist-speak for “how much do you generate in revenue from tuition vs. your instructional costs?).  I’ll also look at scholarly productivity and reputation; donor, alumni, and other external support; and contribution to the future of Wyoming’s workforce and economy. I'll weigh student numbers, and I’ll also weigh programs’ ability to serve both undergraduate and graduate education missions

 

Q) Will the final recommendations be fully aligned with the SPR report?  

A) Probably not.  But their work will give us our starting point.

 

Q) When will we know what programs are up for further review?

A) You’ll hear no later than the week of June 21. There will be a report released specific to each program that will be undergoing review that week.  The campus and our stakeholders will be notified after faculty, students, and staff of any directly impacted program.

 

Q) When will reviews officially start?  

A) They’ll begin on July 19.  According to UW Regulation 2-13, within 120 days of a review going official, a recommendation has to be put in front of the Board of Trustees for a vote.  That puts the vote at the November 17-19, 2021 Board meeting.  Starting the process in mid-July will mean you have an opportunity - whether you’re directly impacted by the recommendations or not - to provide feedback to us when we return in the fall.  Comments and feedback will close by Oct. 15, 2021.  By the way, if we started these reviews this month, the process would unfold over the summer.  This July 19 date was picked so you will have every opportunity to engage in this process.

 

If you’d like to take a look at the interim Pillar Team reports, as well as watch or download a presentation given by Pres. Seidel on them on Thursday to the UW Board of Trustees, click through to this site.  Read at your leisure, come back with notes in the fall, and help us dig into them further.  They will help us with jumpstarting strategic planning.

On the COVID front, here’s a gentle reminder that if you will be working off site this summer, or you’re an AY employee, you should put yourself on the testing exemption list so you won’t get nasty-grams from me when you miss your surveillance test!  Surveillance testing will continue through the month of June, and both it and the COVID Pass sunset on July 1, 2021.  

And now, my friends, we come to the end of the semester, and transition to a new Provost.  Dr. Kevin Carman will begin officially as UW’s next Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs on June 7, 2021. He is going to be an incredible leader for UW.  Welcome him warmly. Help him, and show him the same kindness and grace you have shown me. 

Before I go, I take one last provostial liberty.  Allow me to gush a little.

You have been heroes this year.  It’s been the most difficult year of most of our lives, with much volatility and uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. We built the plane in the air without blueprints, with very little material, and with multiple changing destinations. It’s not been easy, perfect, simple, or linear. We’ve made mistakes. But what you’ve accomplished - what we’ve accomplished together - is something to be incredibly proud of.  I’m convinced UW has the most talented, loyal, hard-working, honest, and kind faculty members of any university out there. You put your students and our community above yourselves all year long.  So, as we enter summer, be good to yourselves. Unplug and enjoy the beauty of the Wyoming summer.  Read a good (or a terrible!) book. Watch the sun rise. Play with your kids or your dogs or your grandkids all day, so hard that you’re all happy-exhausted by the time the sun sets.  Run headlong and happily into your summer writing or field projects.  Whatever you do, come back rejuvenated and refreshed in the Fall.  I can’t wait to see you IRL again, soon!

Via con dios, amigas y amigos,

Anne

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear colleagues,

Our last bi-weekly faculty community check-in of the semester will be from 12-1pm today. Let's have an informal ZOOM session where we can connect, listen to each other, answer questions and exchange ideas!

Please join at ZOOM ID: 994 4014 8784.

As always, we are here to support you and remain grateful for the heavy lift you are making,

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

Recently we have heard stories from some of you about your students being eager to get vaccinated but unsure (or unaware) of how to get it done.  There were great suggestions on the faculty list-serve this past week about ways to inform students about how to get vaccinated without pressuring them to do so. Our final touch point with many of our students will be next week during finals week.  It’s probably too late to include a question on your final exam about how to get vaccinated, but there are other ways to help your students navigate the vaccination path.

If you will be meeting your students next week in person or virtually, I encourage you to take a few minutes in class to inform them on how to get vaccinated.  If your last contact with them is asynchronous and/or through WyoCourses, you could consider including a final email or announcement in your course shell. 

You could include the link to the UW COVID-19 vaccination website (https://www.uwyo.edu/alerts/campus-return/vaccination/index.html).

You might also include the following top 10 Things to Know about Getting the COVID-19 Vaccination.

  1. Vaccines are now available to anyone over age 18.  (Pfizer is available to anyone over 16.)

  2. There will be a walk-in clinic at the Old National Guard (located at the corner of 30th Street and East Armory Rd, across from Jacoby Golf Course) on Wednesday, May 5th from 9am-5pm. 

  3. You DO NOT need an appointment.  Just show up with your ID and a copy of your insurance card, if you have insurance.  DON’T WORRY if you don’t have insurance! The vaccine will not cost you anything!

  4. You can also make an appointment to get vaccinated at many locations in Laramie.  You can call any of the numbers below, or schedule an appointment online at Pole Mountain’s, Walgreen’s or Walmart’s websites. 

    1. Pole Mountain Pharmacy: 307-460-4080

    2. Walgreen’s Pharmacy: 307-745-1557

    3. Walmart Pharmacy: 307-745-6112

    4. Albany Community Health Clinic: 307-766-3313

    5. Ivinson Medical Group: 307-755-4540

    6. Family Physicians of Laramie: 307-742-3242

    7. Laramie Pediatrics: 307-745-3704

    8. Stitches Acute Care: 307-721-1794

  1. If you want a particular type of vaccine (i.e., Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson), call ahead.  Not all of these locations will have the same type.

  2. If you are leaving Laramie at the end of the semester and won’t be able to come back here when your 2nd dose is due, you will need to schedule your 2nd vaccine in your new summer location. Make sure to let them know you need your 2nd dose when you schedule.

  3. Keep your vaccine card that you will get at the time of your first shot and take it with you when you get your 2nd shot.  Your card will show the type of vaccine you received, which is important since both doses must be the same type. (If you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are done after your first shot.)

  4. It takes at least 2 weeks after you receive your final dose until you have the maximum amount of protection from the vaccine.

  5. Make sure you upload a copy of your vaccine card to the UW Student Health Service Patient Portal (found here:http://patientportal.uwyo.edu), by logging in with your UW ID and password, go to the “Immunizations” tab, scroll down to the “Recommended” vaccines, and enter the dates of your doses in the section that corresponds with the type of vaccine you received. You can also upload a photo of your vaccine card using the “upload” tab at the top of the screen.

  6. Have a great and safe summer!!

 

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues: 

University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel invites you to the annual spring faculty meeting Thursday, May 6, from 12:30-1:20 p.m. in virtual format. We are only distributing the ZOOM link via this email to verified faculty email addresses, and ask that you not share/forward to keep the link secure. 

The meeting is available via ZOOM for all those wishing to actively participate:

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/92057445698

Dial by your location: 1-669-900-6833
Meeting ID: 920 5744 5698

If you only wish to stream the meeting you can do so via WyoCast at https://wyocast.uwyo.edu/WyoCast/Play/649e7aca9338462db0c5d11c89fcd92b1d or YouTube at https://youtu.be/cTAqEOEc5S8.

President Seidel will provide an overview of accomplishments from the first year of his presidency and priorities moving forward, including updates by some members of his cabinet. A question-and-answer session will follow.

For questions and additional information, call the Office of the President, 766-4121.

 

Anne

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear colleagues,

Our bi-weekly faculty community check-in will be from 12-1pm today. Let's have an informal ZOOM session where we can connect, listen to each other, answer questions and exchange ideas!

Please join at ZOOM ID: 994 4014 8784.

As always, we are here to support you and remain grateful for the heavy lift you are making,

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

As we head into the weekend of spring break and Easter, I have a few updates for you on the budget, vaccinations, and - for a little fun - a plug for The Lodge!

On the budget front, I have some relatively upbeat news. I’d told you earlier this week that our expected “Step 3” reduction in state funding was around $10 million.  This week, the Wyoming Legislature reduced our budget for the upcoming fiscal year by around $1.1 million, rather than the expected larger amount.  This is a one-year, one-time abeyance in our expected reduction. However, by next July 1, 2022, we will be expected to further reduce our budget by $8 million.  So, this is a “good news, but…” situation. We must continue to explore ways to reduce our spending and enhance our revenues. It’s expected that the legislature will have a special session this summer to discuss the distribution of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Our VP of Government Affairs, Bill Mai, will keep us posted on those conversations.

As you may have seen earlier today, Friday April 2, HR provided some guidance for conversations and the work environment as more members of our community are vaccinated. You might be wondering how this crosswalks with our discussions with students, especially those of you planning field courses. Here are some quick FAQ’s for you:

Q: Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required for students or employees?

A: It is not required at this time, but is strongly recommended.  The vaccine is still emergency authorized, and there are still access issues we need to be mindful of.  We are asking employees and students to self-report if they have received it (employees through HCM, students through student health portal), as this will help us track numbers and determine vaccine uptake.

 

Q:  Can faculty ask their students if they’ve been vaccinated?

A: NO - vaccination information is considered medical information and is protected. But you may ask if they are willing to disclose whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19.

 

Q: Can students (or employees) voluntarily tell their professors/supervisors they have received the COVID-19 vaccination?

A: Yes, but it must be voluntary. It’s important to recognize the power dynamic between faculty and students, as well as supervisors and employees.

 

Meanwhile, as we see our friends’ and families’ smiling faces on social media in selfies holding up their vaccination cards and see the joy as people emerge from their vaccination appointments, I also want to thank, with all my heart, the UW vaccination team including Kem Krueger, David Jones, and Brant Schumaker, along with the Vaccine Team and their multitude of campus volunteers who help set up appointments, guide foot traffic, check people in, and (carefully) elbow-bump people as they bounce out of the Armory. Thanks also to Will Laegreid and his entire team for the incredible work all year with our COVID testing. Thanks to you, UW has weathered this incredibly challenging time.

While we wait for our vaccines to kick in, I also want to highlight the efforts of Student Affairs (all year, all heroes) in their latest effort.  If you’re wondering what the gigantic white tent structure on Fraternity Mall is, it’s The Lodge! To give our students and campus community a cool, new venue to hang out or study, The Lodge, in the

field between sorority and fraternity row, will be open until April 9th. It’s free to students, faculty, and staff to go inside, and there are a variety of places to relax, games and activities to partake in, and even daily competitions to win prizes.   The Lodge is 100% free for students and the campus community members to use. In compliance with COVID guidelines, they are currently accommodating up to 100 people inside The Lodge – and as always, please make sure you fill out your daily COVID Pass and mask up. Both are required upon entry!

Clear skies, smooth seas, and happy Spring Break, friends!

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues, 

There’s a lot going on. You’re hungry for information, but you also suffer from information overload and exhaustion. This email covers a lot, so read as much of this as you’re interested in - but also know that I understand how hard it is for you to just keep your head above water. I remain indebted to you for everything you’ve done this year.  The world needs more of you. 

 

What’s the Budget Situation? 

As you all probably know, we’ve been navigating through a significant budget reduction that was implemented in July of 2020. That budget reduction, known in state budget circles as “Step 2,” reduced our UW state aid monies (block grant) by 11.8%, some of which was shored up one time with reserves and CARES funding. In effect, this means we’ve lost around $52 million for this biennium in operating budget (including state funding cuts to things besides the block grant)  and nearly $12 million in major maintenance funding. In the process so far, we used the levers we could pull - elimination of 45 vacant faculty positions (about 4% of our faculty positions), 23 administrative positions, 12 staff positions, and slashing spending generally where we could. These positions and use of one-time funds got us through this year, fiscal year 2021. All told, in the last 10 years, UW has lost about ⅓ of its state funding, inflation-adjusted, and over the past 5 years, about 25% of its state funding.  

And yes, the state will likely cut our budget for fiscal year 2022. The best guess of trustworthy sources is that we need to prepare for another $10 million in cuts to the block grant, in addition to cuts to the other state sources of revenue at UW. We have already identified some one-time methods of dealing with these cuts. 

But - but…. This is not a situation we can wait out.  We can’t kick the problem down the road any longer. This is a chronic problem - we can’t expect those state revenues to come back.  This time *is* different.  We can continue to simply respond by eliminating positions as they come open, randomly. This is how we’ve responded to previous cuts, primarily.  This is also why you feel terrible. There’s fewer of us doing the same amount of work. Something’s got to give. This is why we’re doing strategic scenario planning right now.  

 

Tell me more about this Strategic Scenario Planning. 

Over the past 6 weeks, over 100 members of the UW community have been working on our strategic scenario planning exercise, which is aimed at laying the groundwork for starting a new strategic plan in the next year and responding to our revenue constraints. Hundreds of you have given us feedback along the way. Here’s a quick status update on next steps.   

The core SSP team has just finished conducting over 15 hours of listening sessions with students, parents, alumni, staff, and faculty and WYSAC is synthesizing the data from these sessions. The core team will begin drafting the scenario plan report which pulls together threads and crosscuts we’ve heard. The team will get a report out to campus for discussion and this will get us teed up to start a planning process more fully in the next academic year. The SSP is intended to point us in the right direction, but we have a lot more work to do together to build our plan for the next 5 or more years. 

The Strategic Portfolio Review committee has been meeting intensively for over a month now, and they are beginning their analysis of the entire academic portfolio.  This large endeavor was made in response to budgetary considerations as well as the need for the university to adapt to and help with the state’s economic circumstances and future. Following an initial review of select programs earlier this semester, I charged a committee of faculty, administrators and students to review all academic and non-academic units within the Division of Academic Affairs. For info on their charge and membership, check out this page.  

Draft reports from four Pillar group starting to analyze what it means for us, for UW, to be more entrepreneurial, more inclusive, more interdisciplinary, and more digital, were turned in to me and the President on March 22. These reports will provide the baseline thinking for us to dig into timelines, other sources of funding, and explore big ideas. The final reports will be in on April 30, and will lay the groundwork for strategic planning. We want the faculty to really dig into these reports, think what they mean and how they resonate, and come back to the Fall ready to explore them together as a campus.   

You can always check out news and updates at our SSP teams news site. And if you would like to complete our survey on the future of UW, it’ll remain open until April 2. 

I can’t thank everyone who’s serving on these various groups enough. You have invested your time and energy in a year when you have very little of either to spare.  Thank you! 

 

Wait, aren't we still in a pandemic? 

Yes. We’re in a much brighter spot than before - vaccines are available to all UW employees because we fall in the 1c3 category of priority vaccinations, and 1c3 is NOW. Get poked, Pokes!! The more of us, and the more of our students, getting those shots, the more likely it is we’ll get to a more “normal” cadence of life. 

Yet, we cannot let our guard down. Between newly-emerging variants and the fact we’re all just really tired of this pandemic, I have it on good authority from the epidemiologists and public health experts on campus that this is the most dangerous part of a public health crisis. We let our guards down at our own peril. So keep washing those hands, wearing those masks, and elbow-bumping your friends. For those of you teaching post-spring break f2f, I have some KN-95 masks for you - your deans are getting me stats on who needs them as we speak.   

You’ve really delivered on offering courses in person next Fall. Our preliminary numbers show that our in-person course numbers are back to where they were before the pandemic. THANK YOU!   

That’s more than enough for one note. But there’s so much going on - and I did not hit all of it. For now, please know I’ll keep you updated as often as I can on how all of these things are unfolding. 

 

Better days are coming,

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear UW faculty and instructors,

Important news! On Friday, UW announced its plan to allow in-person classes to continue after spring break. Requirements for the wearing of masks, social distancing and COVID-19 testing will continue.

As we anticipate students, parents, and guardians' questions regarding the changes, we ask that you please refer them to UW Spring Semester — Student FAQS page. Students will continue to receive communication encouraging them to reach out directly to their instructors for details about their course’s modality post spring break. As such, we have one request for EACH faculty member and instructor:

  • We would like you to send a message proactively to each of your students to let them know what the modality option(s) will be for each course after spring break.

Faculty members were given the opportunity to continue in-person instruction through semester’s end. In all cases, faculty members will be required to accommodate students opting to attend virtually, even if the instructors have chosen to continue with or shift to face-to-face instruction.

We thank you for your cooperation and support of this opportunity.

Anne and the AA team

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear colleagues,

In order to make sure you feel informed and supported, I will continue holding regular bi-weekly faculty community check-ins that all faculty are invited to attend. I have now held two of these and will continue to do so through the rest of the semester. 

We will start these on Friday, March 26th, and they will be from 12-1pm and every other Friday thereafter. The last one this semester will be Friday, May 14th. Sometimes these sessions will have a specific topic, and sometimes they will be wide-open to address your interests. Let's have an informal ZOOM session where we can connect, listen to each other, answer questions and exchange ideas!

There’s a standing invitation to join. Please do at ZOOM ID: 994 4014 8784.

As we move through the semester, I will continue examining ways we can support faculty. If you have suggestions, I am all ears.

 

As always, we are here to support you and remain grateful for the heavy lift you are making,

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

 

It has been a solemn week here at UW. This past weekend, we lost one of our students, Ashton Singer. We were all deeply saddened to hear this, and our community has pulled together to offer support to Ashton’s friends and family. If you, or any of your students need support, please contact the University Counseling Center at 307-766-2187, and employees may seek assistance through our Employee Assistance Program. Our heart goes out to Ashton’s family and friends. I urge you to reach out to your students, regardless of your class modality, and let them know that you are there for them and that they are not alone. Host an open office hour for them. Give them a space to connect, with you and with each other. The isolation they may be feeling right now is acute and painful. If you can, give them some human connection, even if it is on Zoom. 

Our heartache continues as we near the end of the week. As you may have read yesterday in the attached announcement, members of our UW community were subjected to a vicious, intolerable, and revolting virtual attack as they came together to celebrate Black History Month with a ZOOM discussion. My executive team and staff in Academic Affairs join our President, Vice Presidents, Board of Trustees, Deans​, and Directors in condemning the behavior of those perpetrating the virtual assault. Leaders across UW have an unbreakable commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and this type of behavior has no place at our university.  

We will continue our support for upcoming activities ​during Black History Month, focus on the education ​and accountability of our own campus community, and advance UW in being a more inclusive and welcoming place for ALL. In an effort to achieve these goals:

 

  • I will host a community check-in this coming Friday at 10:30am. Come as you are; to talk, to listen, or to just ​stand in solidarity. (ZOOM link here). I will be joined by professional UW counselor, Dr. Julio Brionez.  Dr. Emily Monago from the UW Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will join us briefly as well.

  • We are dedicated to ensuring that, as our state’s only four-year public university, we reflect and welcome the diversity of society in our faculty and programs. To that end, I will continue to expect and demand that every search on the academic side, from staff to professors to administrators, actively recruit diverse candidates. In addition, we will work with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to implement our new pilot Search Equity Advisors program to ensure that we not only advertise and recruit from diverse networks, but ensure that our hiring and onboarding is inclusive. 

  • Since early October a dedicated team of faculty, staff, and students have begun the challenging work of defining our Next Generation University Studies Program. The spirit of our general education program is that we believe every graduate of the University of Wyoming should have mastered a set of general and high-level essential skills, techniques, and habits of the mind, no matter their major. The committee is committed to exploring and understanding the diversity of student populations that UW serves, and the variations in scaffolding these populations may need. This team will be listening to you and your feedback is needed on priorities for infusing inclusion, equity, and diversity into our USP program.

  • Please do not ever hesitate to contact me directly if you need an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. We are a community of learning, discovery, and creation. You all belong here.

Through these times, I urge us to come together. Support each other in times of grief, and stand strong in the face of aversion. My team and I stand with you.

 

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues, 

 

Join me soon! I am hosting a virtual Brown Bag/Chat Session at 12:00pm today (details at the bottom), so let’s check in and catch up. 

Please drop in and out as you are able. 

 

Looking forward to connecting,  

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

 

Virtual Brown Bag/Chat Session with Provost Alexander

UW Faculty: Let's have an informal ZOOM session where we can connect,

listen to each other, answer questions and exchange ideas!

February 5, 2021 | 12:00-1:00pm

All UW Faculty are invited to "drop in" to the ZOOM session

ZOOM ID: 994 4014 8784

Dear Colleagues,

 

It’s time to connect! I am hosting a virtual Brown Bag/Chat Session this coming Friday at 12:00pm (details at the bottom), so let’s check in and catch up. 

 

Please drop in and out as you are able. 

 

Looking forward to connecting, 

 

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

 

Virtual Brown Bag/Chat Session with Provost Alexander

UW Faculty: Let's have an informal ZOOM session where we can connect,

listen to each other, answer questions and exchange ideas!

February 5, 2021 | 12:00-1:00pm

All UW Faculty are invited to "drop in" to the ZOOM session

ZOOM ID: 994 4014 8784

Dear Colleagues,

 

Classes officially started yesterday, and some of you may be back in the saddle. 

If you’ve made it through your inbox backlog, you’ll know that the university is now sending “The Big Picture”, an email sent to all employees at least weekly. The Big Picture contains campus-wide information, much of which will be relevant to you. I will continue sending my Friday emails with faculty-specific info as well. Quick links to support and key resources are listed beneath my signature.

The big items this week are: mental health/wellness resources, vaccination info, campus operations to combat airborne COVID, a new studying/community building app for students, and answers to testing/compliance questions that impact face-to-face instructors.

Mental health/wellness resources

We’re still in it for the long-haul with this pandemic, please tap into campus services to get support if you need it. The UW Employee Assistance Program outlines support for employees. Students also have access to the University Counseling Center and Wellness Center.

UW vaccinations

Current info is available here, and we will stay in contact about vaccination access. 

Campus operations to combat airborne COVID.

See this document for details on what UW Operations is doing to combat COVID on campus this spring.

CircleIn: New app for community building/studying for students.

Please encourage your students to use CircleIn, which is totally hands-off for faculty. Students can hop on a video call with classmates, create study groups, share helpful content, and earn points and rewards for helping and collaborating with classmates. Students can Download the App or visit the App’s Desktop Version. They simply search University of Wyoming, enter their school log-in credentials, and select “Authorize” to get started. Visit the Student Informational Website for more info.

Testing/compliance topics for face-to-face instructors.

Here are answers to several questions face-to-face instructors have asked us. 

  • Do I need to be testing through UW’s program? If you’re not teaching f2f, make sure you are flagged correctly in HCM and thus exempted from on-campus testing requirements. If you are not exempted through HCM, you will need to test according to the university’s policy and testing calendar.

  • When will we know if students are compliant for testing? According to the Spring Plan, students will have a “limited contact” period from January 25th to January 31st; limited contact does mean that students will be allowed to attend class. Students will receive a notification prior to the start of classes to schedule their two mandatory tests the first week of classes. Compliance will be run that week, but faculty will not know a student is non-compliant until the week of February 1.

  • If a student is indicated as not COVID-testing compliant on a class roster, what are the restrictions on that student? A UW student who is identified as non-compliant may not enter campus for class or other activities until the student takes the COVID-19 test. Students are able to attend classes and access campus resources virtually.  When a student is cleared, this will be reflected on WyoRecords and students will have their COVID Pass cleared.  After three instances of non-compliance a student will be restricted from campus for the remainder of the semester. For more guidance, see the Syllabus Guidelines developed last fall.

  • What info do instructors receive about student COVID testing compliance? What is it the student's responsibility to report to their instructor/ vs. what things does UW report to instructors? (For example, those that need to isolate for confirmatory tests, and those who may be quarantining from an exposure or may be sick themselves). As we did last semester, WyoRecords will be updated to reflect the most current and accurate information we have on whether a student is compliant or not.  Weekly compliance will be updated on Friday afternoons.  As exemptions are processed and students become compliant throughout the week, IT will update WyoRecords to reflect this. WyoRecords does not report positives, quarantines, or isolations. It is the responsibility of the student to reach out to their faculty in these situations. For more guidance, see the Syllabus Guidelines developed last fall.

Looking ahead,

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

 

Quick Links

Help

Teaching support | Anonymous Feedback Form | AY 20/21 Tip Sheet

Policies

Covid policies | Syllabus & Field Course info | Travel policies | ADA compliance resources & expectations 

Covid-specific

Spring 2021 campus plan | UW vaccine info

Welcome to 2021, everyone!  

 

I hope that you have all been enjoying a peaceful, restful winter break these past few weeks.  As promised in my last 2020 message, I wanted to highlight the Spring 2021 temporary policies available to you on the Academic Affairs website at: 

https://www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/announcements/temp-policies.html

These policies include field trip and field course guidelines, syllabus posting recommendations, exceptions to course enrollment minima, and the exception request process for having your course continuing to meet in person after spring break.

ECTL and Academic Affairs will also be hosting sessions this month to help you get ready for the Spring 2021 semester, including highlighting some research and innovative resources we have on campus to promote student engagement with your material, you, and fellow students. You can see a draft of the schedule below, and more to come:

Schedule of events

Workshop

Date/Time

Zoom

DTL Course Opening Session

1/6, 8:30-10 AM

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/94730860722

Padlet

Tuesday, 1/19, 11-12am

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/9752776376

Rapid Course Design

Monday 1/11, 1-3 PM

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/97662064575

Vidgrid

Monday, 1/11, 2-3pm

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/9752776376

Perusall

Thursday, 1/14, 2pm

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/4179437991

Engaging Discussions - synchronous

Wednesday, 1/13, 1-2:30 PM

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/94730860722

Engaging Discussions - asynchronous

Tuesday 1/12: 11-noon

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/2168180890

Zoom

Tuesday, 1/19, 3-4 PM

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/97662064575

Gradebook/

Speedgrader

Tuesday 1/19, 11-noon

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/2168180890

Labster - How to use and integrate into your course

Thursday 1/14 - 10-11am

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/9752776376

Quizzes in WyoCourses

Wednesday, 1/13, 4-5 PM

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/97662064575

Managing your Online Course

Tuesday, 1/19, 2pm

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/4179437991

Google Docs

Wednesday, 1/13, 3 pm

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/4179437991

DTL Course Closing Session

January 20, 1-2:30 PM

https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/94730860722

As we head into the spring, we can, of course, expect Wyoming to bring us spring snowstorms and mighty winds.  We also can expect that the pandemic will remain a major factor in our operations. But we also see the light returning, the days lengthening, and a quickening of our souls as the new year brings new hope.  Hold on to that hope. 

I continue to say it, because I believe it – better days are ahead, Pokes. Here is a video to thank you for your unbending dedication to UW.

 

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

 

Welcome to the end of finals week! 

I know we all have much grading yet to do, but let me say again how very, very proud I am to work with you. 

A colleague asked the other day in a meeting - how do we define success in these COVID times? That is the question of our time, complex and complicated, and will mean 3 different things to 2 different people. To me, success this semester has meant that you guided your students through content and materials and through an unprecedented time that is psychologically and sociologically difficult, exhausting, and seemingly-never ending. You commiserated with your colleagues and hacked your way through, no doubt missing opportunities but also building extraordinary memories. 

It does not mean we were perfect. I don’t think there is any “perfect” right now. Historians will tell us later what went right and went wrong. But we tried everything we could and gave our best. Right now, that is success.

Some of you may have questions about the Spring 2021 plan. 

The UW Board of Trustees has heard and discussed President Seidel’s plan this week, and they are set to vote on the final plan on Wednesday, December 16. We will have as much as possible ready to share with you after that. You can anticipate syllabus posting guidelines, exception request processes pertaining to project-based/activity-based courses and research, and other policies to give you all the tools you need to prepare for the Spring. We will post details here on the Academic Affairs website, and we will email you on January 6, 2021 with a link to that information.

Now friends, we can’t expect that when the calendar clicks over to Jan. 1, 2021, our lives will magically change. Calendars don’t change our lives. Only we can do that. Just remember -  take time to keep yourself balanced and healthy. And then, together, we’ll put one foot in front of the other. Breathe. We made it another minute.

In January, we will host support sessions for you.

After the winter break, Academic Affairs invites you to join your colleagues for weekly listen-learn-share sessions on some lessons-learned from Fall 2020. Our themes for these events are still being solidified. If there’s a topic you think would be interesting and useful for others, please feel free to propose it!

Meanwhile, we know we will cover:

Toolkit for Student Engagement:

What have we learned from our peers, ourselves, and our mentors about ways our students can be better engaged in this time of distancing and stay-at-home? (Discussion co-hosted with the ECTL)

Exam Integrity Solutions:

What solutions, beyond using HonorLock and Respondus, have you found that boost deeper learning on exams when we’re restricted to online environments?

The First Day:

We’ll share some ideas on content that’s being built right now to help your students better navigate Canvas and their online environment. Our thanks to Faculty Senate for this idea!

Computer skills are surfacing as a key factor in student success. If you know of students that need assistance with basic computer and technology skills, Alec Muthig from UW IT suggests the following options:  

GCFLearnFree

  • Offers quick, easy-to-navigate tutorials on Windows, Mac, Microsoft Office, email, and more. Alec frequently recommends this site as a great place to sharpen essential technology skills.

LinkedIn Learning

  • Offers more extensive training for UW employees and students. More information on how to access this platform can be found here.  On LinkedIn Learning, full courses such as Windows 10: Organizing Files and Folders or Computer Literacy for Mac are available but can be lengthy. (The courses mentioned are each about two hours long.) 

Though our winter holiday will be, likely, different and complicated – just like all of life right now – I wish you peace, joy, light, and love in the days ahead. You are extraordinary people, and it’s my honor to work with you. Happy holidays (and take a break!).

Until 2021,

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear colleagues, 

You have a lot on your plate right now. And one of those things is how to keep students engaged at the end of the semester. 

You and your students may now be relying more on video than earlier in the semester. This past week, the ECTL and UW IT shared a few resources that may be helpful. In case you missed them, we're highlighting them here.

  1. IT has a variety of multimedia recording equipment available for students to check out. The equipment varies from standard camcorders to GoPro Action cameras to DSL cameras. In addition to recording equipment, we also have accessories such as tripods, microphones, and camera mounts. Students can check out the equipment from the IT Walk-in Service center located on the first floor of the ITC.  Additional information and a list of available equipment can be found at: http://microlab.uwyo.edu/services/mme.asp.

  2. 20-Minute Resource: Build Engagement in Online Classes through Student-Created Videos. By incorporating student videos into online classes, students can feel connected to their classmates and more engaged with course content. Online instructors may encounter some challenges when incorporating student videos initially. This program provides practical ways to avoid them. Access: http://mondaymorningmentors.com/. Password: videos321

  3. VidGrid and FlipGrid are readily accessible video platforms which can be integrated into classes. VidGrid is built into WyoCourses, and FlipGrid is free online and very user-friendly.

We hope these tools will come in handy these coming weeks.

Again, my deepest gratitude to you for all you do.

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

I write today with deep gratitude for you. For the work you have done, and the work you have likely set aside, this semester. For the extra time you have spent, and the time that you re-allocated, and the time -- no doubt -- that you have delayed using for hiking, biking, fishing, napping, binge watching, or in other ways taking a break. I hope you get that time back very soon. I am also grateful for the extraordinary effort you have made to support our students and staff this semester.

I am also grateful for the caution you have applied to reduce exposure and transmission on campus and in our community. We are seeing record case numbers, but we know you have done your best. Thank you. We couldn’t do this without you.

As we go fully into Phase 4, there are a few things you may want to be aware of:

  1. Testing in Phase 4/Winter Break will be through our Surveillance program: Testing will NOT be conducted next week (November 23-27), but will resume the following week (November 30) for those employees who are identified to be on campus and are not able to socially distance, and for students who opt in. You can opt in by following these steps.

  2. Spring Return planning: Spring semester begins on January 25, with Residence Hall move-in still scheduled for January 22. There will be surveillance testing required for students and all other UW employees as we return to campus, and details of this will be coming soon. We will not do pre-return testing (like in August), because we will have rapid testing scaled up by the start of next semester.

  3. A spring plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees by the President in December. We are currently scenario planning for the Spring return, so if anything changes (from point 2 above), we will keep you up to date.

Again, thank you. May you find peace and rest in the coming days.

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

As you have transitioned to an early Phase IV (fully remote instruction) this week, please be aware of the following:

  1. All Campus Buildings will be open during Normal Business hours except as noted below:

    1. The Library Hours are set by the Library staff and are posted on their website (https://www.uwyo.edu/libraries/).

    2. The Classroom Building and ENZI Building will be locked with limited access (card access).   If you need access to the Classroom Building or ENZI Building to provide online instruction and do not have card access, you should call UWPD to assist.  If one of the officers is available, he or she can meet you there to assist with accessing the building.  (It might be wise to call ahead.)

    3. The College of Business will be locked, but available with those who have card swipe access. If additional instructors need access, please contact business@uwyo.edu

    4. Visual Arts building is open but will not provide access to studios or classrooms, these rooms will be locked. 

  2. All Campus Buildings will be locked with limited access during Winter Closure (December 24th thru Jan 3rd).

 

Take care and stay warm!

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

For the past several months, you have, like the Mandalorian, watched over and cared for our student population.  While they are not as young as “The Child/Baby Yoda,” they too are vulnerable, yet mighty.  Together, you have had many adventures - and you’ve helped them make it through some extremely tough spots.  

You’ve done this while caring for your families, keeping yourselves as safe and healthy as possible, AND doing your creative activity and research, service, and extension.  

Now the in-person part of your adventure is coming to an end.  It’s a testament to your hard work and dedication that we’ve been able to deliver seven weeks (or nine weeks, if you’re an FYS instructor!) of face-to-face experiences for our students.  That’s pretty amazing and worthy of commendation. Again, thank you.

Here are some things to keep in mind as we shift to online environments next week.

  1. The post-face-to-face world for your students: For all of our students, and especially your first-year students, they are completing a semester of college unlike any generation before.  In many cases they will soon be moving back home – and they may feel as if they have to backslide in their pre-college, high school life.  They may have to compete for WIFI bandwidth with their family, and their space will be completely different. UW IT is available to support students trouble-shooting tech and hardware issues. As in the spring, UW IT can also provide laptops and other equipment for students to checkout through the end of the semester. In any case, give students some grace as they navigate and negotiate their needs in their new home life. Please note: for students who need to remain on campus until winter closure, most buildings and facilities, including Coe Library and computer labs, will remain open through the end of the semester as originally planned. 

  2. Testing before departure: Please remind your students to complete their COVID test this week, so that they can have a clear NEGATIVE before travelling home.  We do not want to be a source of super-spread. 

  3. Flexibility is key: We understand that our abbreviation of the in-person semester has likely shifted your syllabus again.  Take a look through and see what in-person pieces can be moved to online environments.  Give yourself and your students the grace you gave this spring. Consider: what is essential for the rest of the semester? Is there anything you can simplify, adapt, or make optional? Also, note that students are not required to leave this weekend; we are giving them the option to leave. If a student can work independently in a space (no groups) to complete an assignment before going home, give them the flexibility to do so. If a student needs an extra day to get back online, let them have an extension.  And, as a reminder - do not change your class time.  Finally, do not change your final exam time if you’re administering it synchronously - those times are carefully orchestrated by the Office of the Registrar to minimize time conflicts.

  4. Students should continue testing while at home, if possible.  Wyoming offers free at-home COVID-19 testing using VAULT Health, the same company the UW has partnered with to support our fall testing program.  Students living in Wyoming are encouraged to order their free at-home test; tests are available weekly.  More information can be found here. Testing will continue next week as scheduled for those students who must remain on campus. Students and UW employees can opt-in here (the opt-in options are near the bottom of the page).

  5. Spring Return planning:  Spring semester begins on January 25, with Residence Hall move-in still scheduled for January 22.  We are currently scenario planning for the Spring return. At this time, we do not plan to require pre-return negative results from Vault.  There will be surveillance testing required for students and all other UW employees as we return to campus, and details of this will be coming soon. 

 

Take care and stay warm!

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

Soon, or already, you will have a message from your dean or department head providing details on a campus-wide Thanksgiving Break intervention. This intervention provides students the opportunity to safely return home for the holiday, and will include moving to fully online instruction starting this Monday, November 16th.

Please keep an eye out for that message, and/or preview what I sent earlier to our Associate Deans and Department Heads in the attached. And, if you’re a supervisor, department head, etc., please consider adapting the message and passing it on to anyone you think will need this information moving forward.

Thank you again for everything you have done to make this semester a success. We want everyone to have the safest and healthiest holiday possible. If we all do our part, we can stay safe and protect those we care about from COVID-19. 

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues,

Soon, or already, you will have a message from your dean providing details on Phase 4, Thanksgiving and winter breaks, testing plans in those periods, and more. This message also contains our projections for how the spring semester is likely shaping up - more or less like Fall 2020. 

Please keep an eye out for that message, and/or have a look at it here. And, if you’re a supervisor, department head, etc., please consider adapting the message and passing it on to anyone you think will need this information moving forward.

Here’s wishing you all a moment of calm this weekend!

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues, 

Today is election day, and I want to thank Dr. Monago and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for this fantastic resource: Civic Engagement Resources: Before, During, and After the 2020 National Election. You may find it useful inside and beyond your classrooms.

I’m also writing to clarify a few things: 

  1. Supporting custodial staff, 

  2. When Phase 4 (all online) starts, 

  3. Who to coordinate with if you move your course online before Phase 4, 

  4. COVID-19 testing clarifications - who is in the pool, when that is decided weekly, etc.,

  5. Budget reduction process, and

  6. Spring semester calendar

 

  1. Supporting custodial staff

During the time between classes, please give the operations staff the time to do their tasks. 

As a friendly reminder, we moved to a modified schedule in Fall 2020 to allow our operations team to clean between class meetings. The cleaning is required to achieve CDC and OSHA recommendations regarding cleaning and sanitizing. Most importantly, the cleaning helps to minimize the coronavirus threat.

Additionally, if your class has been moved to online due to COVID precautions/procedures, please let your unit custodial staff know so they can adjust as necessary. Otherwise, we are wasting their time and cleaning resources by having them clean a room that isn’t in use.

  1. When Phase 4 (all online) starts

Phase 4 runs from November 23-December 11. We ask all students and instructors to prepare in advance for in-person coursework to end on or by November 20. Please prep your students to take along course materials, etc., which they may need to work off-campus. More details are available in this UW communication (October 26).

  1. Who to coordinate with if you move your course online before Phase 4

You must discuss moving your course modality with your department head and dean, and they must agree that it’s in your students’ and your best interest.  Make sure it does not put any of your students in a tough spot with respect to in-person residency requirements, and do NOT move the time of your course. If all of these things are attended to, please let Lynn Wheat (lwheat@uwyo.edu) in the Office of the Registrar know that your course is shifting modality and the effective date.

  1. COVID-19 testing clarifications

  • Wastewater testing: You may have heard that UW will start testing campus wastewater for COVID-19. More information is available in this UW communication (October 26).

  • Campus testing pool: HR recently sent out an update to supervisors about COVID-19 testing classifications for working on/off campus. They also clarified when and how the testing pool is decided for each subsequent week during Phase 3. Details are available in our Tip Sheet here.

  • Phase 4 testing: In Phase 4, testing will return to a surveillance protocol (random sampling) like we used in Phase 1. Those who were in the testing pool in Phase 1 will be in the pool for Phase 4, which will run until school starts again on January 25, 2020. If you were not in the Phase 1 pool, but want to be in the Phase 4 pool, you can opt in by following these steps.

  1. The budget reduction process

We need and want your feedback on the budget reduction process. You can submit anonymous feedback here

As you know, in response to a 10 percent cut in state funding that resulted in an immediate reduced distribution from the state earlier this year, the University of Wyoming’s administration has identified a plan to address a $42.3 million budget reduction in the current biennium to present to the UW Board of Trustees during their meeting November 11-13. The plan is due to the Board of Trustees on November 1. More details are available in this UW communication (October 27).

  1. Spring semester calendar

The complete, updated calendar is available here, and an October 23 UW communication provides details. The short story is that we start a week later (January 25), do not have a spring break, and get an extra holiday (February 15).

 

If you have any other questions, please send them our way! We will get answers to you asap.

 

As always, thank you for all you do!

Anne

 

Dr. Anne M. Alexander
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Wyoming

Dear Colleagues: 

The Office of Academic Affairs and the COVID Hub have been receiving questions about student attendance policy and expectations for making up assignments and tests when students are unable to attend class – either in-person or virtually.

On September 7, 2020, the Office of Academic Affairs provided guidance on student attendance policy and impacts of COVID-19. (See excerpt below. For full guidance document, go to: www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/announcements/temp-policies.html)

Coronavirus Pandemic Addendum to Attendance Policy: During the fall of 2020 and for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, the attendance policy applies as noted below:

  • Self-Quarantine and Isolation: Any student notified that they have tested positive for covid-19 or that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for covid-19 may need to isolate for up to two weeks at a time.

  • Students will not be penalized for having to self-quarantine for exposure to a known positive. Students who test positive will be told to isolate and should continue to complete course work online for the duration of their isolation as they are able.

  • Illness: Under no circumstances are students to attend in-person classes if they are experiencing any symptoms of covid-19. Illnesses are covered under the Authorized Absence program managed within the Dean of Students Office.

Some of the questions we are receiving relate to the COVID testing non-compliance intervention that impacted in-person class attendance this week. We recognize this intervention was disruptive, particularly in classes where students must complete in-class assignments and tests. And, we also understand the challenges of rescheduling assignments and tests during a time when in-person opportunities are limited due to social distancing requirements. 

Guidance: Course absence policy should apply to all students who failed to complete the required testing last week.  However, special arrangements to make up assignments or tests should be made for students who requested an exception to testing prior to last week and were still in the queue for approval.  Students who have submitted an appeal for review may not return to class until they have a communication from the Dean of Students Office that the student is cleared to return to class.  Otherwise, the student will be out for the week and encouraged to only come to campus to participate in bridge testing.

We also received questions about making up assignments and tests when students are in quarantine or isolation.

Guidance: If students are absent because they are in quarantine or isolation, faculty should make every effort to accommodate the students by providing virtual opportunities. If virtual opportunities are not possible, rescheduling or modifying assignments and tests is expected. 

In addition to these questions, the Office of Academic Affairs has heard numerous accounts of how faculty are going above and beyond the call to help their students be successful.  Thank you for your patience and flexibility during these difficult times.