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UW Has a New President

Dr. Robert Sternberg at the University of Wyoming
UW Photo

Dr. Robert Sternberg, who until recently has been serving as senior vice president and provost at Oklahoma State University, has officially taken the office as the University of Wyoming’s 24th president, succeeding retiring president Tom Buchanan.

“I’m thrilled finally to be on the job,” says Sternberg, who was selected by the Board of Trustees in February as UW’s 24th president. “I couldn’t be more excited to get better acquainted with all of the great folks who work for and study at the university, as well as to meet more of the wonderful people of the state. Wyoming is the state in which my wife, Karin, and I most wanted to live, and the University of Wyoming is where I most wanted to work, so I view myself as extremely fortunate to be here.”

In the past several months Sternberg has met and corresponded with then-UW President Tom Buchanan and other university leaders, as well as with numerous supporters of the university. He also has made a number of visits to the state.

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved a three-year contract with incoming President Robert Sternberg that will pay a base salary of $425,000 a year. The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved a three-year contract with incoming President Robert Sternberg that will pay a base salary of $425,000 a year.

Sterberg came to the office amid controversy as to the way the selection process was being handled.  The University of Wyoming conducted much of the search by keeping the names of applicants secret, saying that they felt it was the best way to find qualified members.  Critics demanded a release of the names and took the case to court last year, ultimately resulting in a judge’s order to release the names publicly.  In the meantime, legislation was passed during the most recent session that would allow such searches to be conducted in secret in the future.  Ultimately the university abandoned the secret search, releasing the names of the final four in the search.   Dr. Robert Sternberg was hired for the position shortly thereafter.

A report from the Associated Press earlier this year said that Sternberg thought an important part of his job will be to find other sources of revenue to help make up for cuts in state funding.  Further, in a University press release, Sternberg laid out a list of priorities:

  • Development of ethical leadership in students, faculty and staff
  • A focus on student retention and graduation
  • Hiring, developing and retaining outstanding faculty and staff
  • Collaborations with community colleges and the K-12 school system
  • Economic development efforts around the state
  • Collaborations with business and industry, as well as government and community organizations
  • Promotion of the arts and humanities
  • Enhancement of student life
  • Budget management and financial controls
  • Creation of a Tier 1 engineering program responsive to the state’s needs
  • Broad stakeholder participation in, and transparency of, university governance.

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