UW to begin planning for new president search; Trustees president says finalists to be public

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LARAMIE, Wyoming — University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity says he will step down from the job when his contract expires next year.

"The university needs long-term leadership, a stable management team of individuals who are committed to steadily improving excellence over the course of time," McGinity said Monday.

McGinity, 71, became UW's 25th president in January 2014 following Bob Sternberg's abrupt resignation after less than five months on the job.

McGinity said he likes the job and feels capable of doing it. But with major, multimillion initiatives under way at UW, he said it is a matter of practicality that someone else be brought in to "pick up the ball and carry it for the next six, eight, 10 years or so."

UW Board of Trustees President Dave Palmerlee said in a statement that planning for a new president search will begin in the coming weeks.

Palmerlee said the board's intention is to publicly identify finalists for the job.

The UW trustees tried to hold a secret search in hiring Sternberg. The threat of a lawsuit by media eventually forced the trustees to release the names of the finalists.

Sternberg's short tenure was marked by the resignations of nearly a dozen top administrators and college deans and open criticism from faculty of his administrative decisions.

Much of McGinity's administration has involved filling vacant administrative jobs and patching relations with faculty and staff.

"President McGinity stepped up at an extremely challenging time in UW's history," Palmerlee said in a statement. "Under his leadership, we have made progress on many fronts, including the university's relationship with the Legislature and the state's community colleges. He also ushered in a new, positive era of partnership and cooperation between the trustees and the university administration."

McGinity said he will actively help in the search for a new president.

After his contract as president expires June 30, 2016, McGinity said he may return to the College of Business faculty or in some other role at UW.

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