First Listening Session for UW President Search is Sept. 10

University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming — Members of the campus community and the public have an opportunity to weigh in on the search for the University of Wyoming’s next president during a listening session Tuesday, Sept. 10, on the UW campus.


The session is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. Those who are unable to attend in person may participate via WyoCast at

“This is a chance for people to let us know the desired qualifications and characteristics for a new president,” says John MacPherson, former member of the UW Board of Trustees from Saratoga who chairs the presidential search committee. “The input we gather will be valuable to guide us as we consider candidates, to help ensure the best possible fit for the university and the state.”

Two more listening sessions are planned — one Sept. 24 on campus, the other Sept. 25 in Casper. They will air via WyoCast as well.

Written comments about the desired qualifications and characteristics of the next president also are being accepted via email at [email protected], and regular mail at Presidential Search Committee, c/o Office of the President, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY, 82071.

The process of selecting a consulting firm to assist in the search is well underway, with selection of a firm anticipated Sept. 13. And former UW President Dick McGinity has been chosen to serve as a search recruiter, tasked with reaching out to nontraditional and other potential candidates for the presidency that a search firm might not reach.


The 16-member search committee is charged with forwarding a list of the top candidates to the Board of Trustees and its ex-officio members (not including the acting president), based on a majority vote of the committee as well as a majority vote of trustees on the committee. Plans call for this list of semifinalists to be presented to the board before the holiday break in December.

The board will have the option of adding other candidates to the list advanced by the search committee — including candidates who applied but were not selected as semifinalists — but no candidate specifically rejected by the committee will be eligible for addition by the board.

The names of the applicants and semifinalists will be confidential. But, once the board narrows the list of candidates to three to five finalists, they will be publicly identified and brought to campus for public forums. Public input will be accepted by the board following those forums.

The board will conduct individual interviews with the finalists in executive session, then select the top one or two candidates.

Acting President Neil Theobald is not restricted from applying for the long-term position.

Members of the search committee in addition to MacPherson are: Megan Degenfelder, who served as president of the Associated Students of UW (ASUW) in 2011-12 and now works for Southland Royalty Co. in Cheyenne; former two-term Gov. Matt Mead; Rita Meyer, former state auditor who is the director of infrastructure investment for Rocky Mountain Power in Wyoming; Doug Stark, Riverton native, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources alumnus and recently retired CEO of Farm Credit Services of America; and Board of Trustees members Jeff Marsh of Torrington, Macey Moore of Douglas, and Laura Schmid-Pizzato of Rock Springs.


Also on the committee are current ASUW President Jason Wilkins of Cheyenne; law Professor Ken Chestek, chair of the Faculty Senate; Staff Senate President James Wheeler, a project coordinator in the Division of Student Affairs; 2018-19 ASUW President Alex Mulhall; Anne Alexander, associate vice provost for undergraduate education; visual and literary arts Professor Alyson Hagy; Associate Professor Matthew Painter of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology; and Laura Shevling, senior director of financial systems and business optimization.