The next University of Wyoming president will start sooner than previously announced and make more money than two of her recent predecessors.

Dr. Laurie Nichols recently finalized her contract with the UW Board of Trustees and is set to take office on Monday, May 16.  She will start at a base salary of $350,000.

It has been pointed out that Nichols will receive about $96,000 less than her predecessor Robert Sternberg.  University spokesman Chad Baldwin says that the compensation package for Nichols is more in line with what Dr. McGinity and Dr. Buchanan each received.

“As you look at the last presidents – Buchanan, Sternberg, McGinity – Sternberg is a major outlier,” says Baldwin.  “In other words, that was a much, much different level of compensation.”

The three-year contract calls for UW to contribute an annual $48,000 housing allowance; $35,000 annually to a deferred compensation plan; and a $25,000 retention payment each year.  The university will also provide a vehicle for Nichols.

“In fact, the total if you consider… the retention payment, the deferred compensation, and so forth, Dr. Nichols is higher than both McGinity and Buchanan,” says Baldwin.

Baldwin says Nichols and the Trustees agreed it would be best for her to begin work as quickly as possible, and May 16 is the earliest she can start due to her obligations at South Dakota State University, where she is currently provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“The latest was always going to be July first,” says Baldwin.  “I think there was some hope up front that it would be earlier than that and in fact, that’s the case.”

Nichols will be appointed as a tenured full professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.