CHEYENNE – Former University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity will serve as the “search recruiter” in the hunt for the university’s next president.
McGinity was UW’s president from 2014-16 before Laurie Nichols was hired.
At a conference call of UW’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday morning, board Chairman Dave True said McGinity agreed to the role despite having been “sensitive to any potential negative implications about him serving in that role.”
“It would be difficult for me to imagine a more qualified individual,” True said.
Trustees are also planning to hire a search firm that will pursue traditional presidential candidates, like those coming from within academia.
McGinity, conversely, is tasked with recruiting “other potential candidates that the search firm might not have in their book of business,” True said.
“It can be someone who isn’t necessarily looking to become a university president,” the chairman told the Laramie Boomerang in July. “There have been examples, both good and bad, about people who have helmed institutions of higher learning who have not come out the realm of academia.”
True mentioned Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana, as one example.
Former UW human resources director Jeanne Durr, who retired at the end of July, will also play an advisory role with the search process, True said.
A request for proposals has been sent to seven search firms, and True said UW will set up video interviews with the “top two or three firms” to be conducted Sept. 13.
At the beginning of August, UW announced the names of 16 people, including former Gov. Matt Mead and former State Auditor Rita Meyer, who comprise the search committee tasked with finding the university’s next president.
John MacPherson, the former UW Board of Trustees chairman, is chairing the search committee.
However, the search committee won’t have the chance to actually pick the finalist. Instead, the committee will merely nominate 12 options for the UW Board of Trustees to choose from.
Interim President Neil Theobald is expected to be a candidate for the job.
The trustees have also given themselves the option of selecting candidates not identified by the search committee.
The search committee is planning to host “listening sessions” in Laramie on Sept. 3 and Sept. 24 to get feedback from the community on the presidential search.
“Those have been very fruitful in the past, and I expect it to be no different this time,” True said.
Another listening session is scheduled to be hosted in Casper on Sept. 25.
Those forums are also expected to be broadcast via WyoCast.
True said he’d like the search committee to give “a trimmed down list of semifinalists to the trustees before Christmas break,” which would give the trustees six months to vet the 12 candidates in hopes of having a new president in place by July 2020.
Along with MacPherson, Mead and Meyer, the search committee consists of three trustees, three professors, two other UW employees, two undergraduate students and two private citizens.
All will be required to sign confidentiality agreements, True said, and the search committee is planning to have its first meeting in September.