As a part of the state’s efforts to confront a funding deficit brought on by the downturn in the energy industry, the 2017 Legislature established the Wyoming Government Spending and Efficiency Commission.
One of its first actions was to request that all major agency heads report on their work to reduce spending and improve efficiency.
University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols said in an email to the campus community that she, along with other UW administrators, gave a lengthy presentation to the commission detailing the university’s work over the past year to cut costs.
Natrona County Representative Joe MacGuire serves on the commission. He said they were impressed by President Nichol’s efforts.
“She came in as the new president in a budgetary crisis and was dropped by the frying pan right into the fire. And to her credit she took right to it,” said MacGuire. “The legislature looked to the university for a 10 percent budget reduction and she has met all of that, and is continuing to look for more efficiencies in order to run the university more efficiently.”
When asked about recommendations the commission had for Nichols moving forward, MacGuire said, “I mean she really did a great job. She spearheaded her own effort and moved forward in a rapid fashion. And honestly, she’s ahead of where we are right now.”
In her email about the meeting with the commission, Nichols outlined some of UW’s efficiency efforts. On the list was the implementation of WyoCloud, the new financial management system, and the reorganization of Information Technology and the Outreach School. She also mentioned reductions to long-term disability insurance and changes to procurement practices.
In May, UW laid off 37 workers in order to meet the state mandated budget reductions.