UW Highlights

As Wyoming’s only university, UW is committed to explore, create, and share knowledge. Wyoming Public Media captures the work of scholars, learners, and leaders who are committed to serving the state of Wyoming and contributing to national and international intellectual growth. You can hear some of our stories and features on these pages. They reflect the work of hundreds of individuals dedicated to the University of Wyoming vision to imagine the future and to create it.

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has formalized a public art policy that's been informally in effect since 2012. The policy creates the President’s Public Art Committee, which is made up of five members from art and non-art departments on campus. The Committee is responsible for reviewing art works proposed for installation on and around campus, and providing recommendations. The UW President, in consultation with the President of the Trustees makes the final call.

Grammy-award winning jazz group, the Yellowjackets, will perform with the University of Wyoming Jazz Ensemble Thursday night. The Yellowjackets will also conduct workshops with UW musicians.  UW Jazz Ensemble director Scott Turpen says the Yellowjackets’ visit is part of the music department’s Eminent Artist-in-Residence program.

Micah Schweizer

The University of Wyoming Art Museum’s spring exhibitions are now open to the public. Current displays feature everything from visiting artist Bently Spang’s burnt tree rubbings to student and faculty work to American Gothic landscapes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a look at what goes into putting all that art on the wall.

In collaboration with the University of Wyoming, a local food advocacy group conducted a study to find out just how many vegetables a backyard garden in Wyoming can produce.  The project is called Team G.R.O.W., or Gardening Research of Wyoming. 

Debra Fine

On Thursday acclaimed author and speaker Debra Fine will appear at the University of Wyoming Ballroom at 4:30  discussing the art of a conversation.  Fine is a former engineer and the founder of the company called The Fine Art of Small Talk.

VanHouten Photography

Maestro Gerard Schwarz raises his baton at the University of Wyoming. The former Seattle Symphony Orchestra director has 13 Grammy nominations and two Emmy wins to his credit, among numerous other awards. Tonight (Feb. 6), he’ll conduct three university ensembles in a public performance at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 PM. UW music department chair Theresa Bogard says Schwarz is honing the student groups’ sound.

A research lab dedicated to finding new ways to collect and use carbon dioxide is a step closer to becoming a reality. 

The Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee has recommended that $15 million be set aside for the project, which would be located at one of Wyoming’s coal-fired power plants.  The project would be a collaboration between the state, the University of Wyoming, and a power company.

Former University of Wyoming rodeo coach Pete Burns died at his home in Laramie on January 25.  He was 85 years old.  Pete Burns served as the university’s rodeo coach from 1982 until 1996. 

His oldest son, Hal Burns, says his father leaves behind a well-regarded legacy for the UW rodeo team. “Fourteen years, he coached the University of Wyoming rodeo team,” Hal says.  “During his tenure, the Wyoming women won eight regional championships and three national championships, which is pretty amazing.  He was very, very top coach in the college rodeo.  Had lots of success.”

The University of Wyoming Athletics Department says that ten million dollars in private donations has been raised as it moves forward with the 30 million dollar Arena Auditorium renovation project. 

The redesign and remodel of the facility will include a new a statute to honor Wyoming basketball legend Kenny Sailors and the court will be named after Cheyenne businessman Maury Brown.  U-W Athletics Director Tom Burman says Brown’s contribution allowed the project to go forward.                     

For forty years the U-S has banned the export of most all crude oil. Matt Laslo reports a new debate is raging in Washington over whether to end the ban.

MATT LASLO: The U-S banned crude oil exports after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. It’s been in place since, which has negatively impacted global oil prices. Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso says he’s ready to lift the ban.

Willow Belden

When energy development happens on public lands, companies have to reclaim the land. That means restoring the landscape after it’s been disturbed. But exactly what’s required varies from one part of the state to another. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that agencies are making those rules more consistent, in hopes of helping keep sage grouse off the endangered species list.

UW News Service

Last summer Paula Lutz from Montana State University was hired to replace longtime University of Wyoming Arts and Sciences Dean Oliver Walter.  She joins us today on Open Spaces to share her vision for the College.  She speaks with Bob Beck.

UW Conservation Corps Still Alive

Jan 23, 2014

Almost a month after saying they didn’t have the funds to operate this summer, the Wyoming Conservation Corps is back in business. 

Last month program leaders said the Corps was short on money, but a loan from the U-W Research Office and money from Residence Life and Dining Service will allow the program to move forward.

The program pays students to perform conservation work around the state during the summer.  This year it will be a scaled down program, according to Director Patrick Call. 

University of Wyoming

For many years, Wyoming lawmakers have been reluctant to impose new regulations on industry.  At the national level, the congressional delegation has been highly critical anytime the Environmental Protection Agency proposes new regulations on energy production, saying that it costs jobs. 

State leaders have echoed those statements, and over the years many legislators have even expressed concern about adding staff to the Department of Environmental Quality, fearing that it could lead to over regulation. 

After hearing mixed public testimony, the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees have voted 9 to 3 to make Dick McGinity the full time President of the University until June 30th of 2016.

Trustee President Dave Bostrom says McGinity “has demonstrated his ability to lead the institution.” During the meeting Faculty and Staff representatives urged trustees to wait before removing McGinity’s interim tag.  But many, like Dean of Libraries Maggie Farrell said it was time for U-W to move forward.

The University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees is considering making Interim  U-W President Dick McGinity the full time President. The Trustees held a public discussion on the issue Thursday and got plenty of advice.

Addressing a room full of people, Staff Senate President Jim Logue told the board that U-W staff would prefer to see the board conduct a formal search for a new president.

An all ages weekly concert series in Laramie started as a training ground for students. Now, Studio WYO brings a steady flow of local and regional bands to the University of Wyoming on Thursday nights… and has become a hub for music lovers.

Tonight's act is Hectic Hobo, a gypsy rock band from Salt Lake City. Sort of like an updated version of old west saloon music. UW Student Miles Griffith booked the band.

Thursday the University of Wyoming trustees are scheduled to discuss the position of UW President.  Many on the UW faculty list serve have expressed concern that Interim President, Dick McGinity, will be appointed to the position permanently without a search. Faculty Senate Chair Colin Keeney warns against leaping to conclusions.

Jeff Lockwood interviewed on Science Friday

Jan 3, 2014
Erin O'Doherty

Jeffrey Lockwood, University of Wyoming professor, entomologist and author of The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Love, and Loathe Insects, was interviewed on Science Friday via one of Wyoming Public Radio's studios.

Following the resignation of Bob Sternberg, Dick McGinity has taken over reins at the University of Wyoming as Interim President. 

McGinity was simply a faculty member at UW until Sternberg promoted him to be part of the administration and now he’s running the show.  Among his first duties is getting UW priorities through the legislature.  He tells Bob Beck that includes pay raises.

The geology museum at the University of Wyoming recently re-opened after a long remodel. One of the features unveiled is a new fossil preparation lab. This lab offers U-W students, museum visitors, and the community a variety of opportunities to learn more about fossil prep. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo has more.

UW worried about losing research faculty

Dec 12, 2013
University of Wyoming

In making a request for pay hikes for University of Wyoming faculty and staff before the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee, University Vice President for Research, Bill Gern, spent a considerable amount of time discussing some of the major research faculty who are leaving U-W. 

Gern says they have lost or are losing up to 20 key faculty members who are taking their research dollars with them.  He says recent budget cuts have made it difficult for the University to keep some of these faculty...and their departure has a major impact on U-W.

Senator suggests tuition hike for UW

Dec 12, 2013

After hearing the budget request from the University of Wyoming, a State Senator says it is time that U-W look at raising tuition to a much higher level. 

Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout says the cost of maintaining a high quality institution is substantial.  Bebout says U-W had to go through some difficult budget cuts and so it may be time that the University take steps to raise some of its own revenue.                  

Manasseh Franklin: Recipe for the Essence of Rootlessness

Dec 10, 2013

Manasseh Franklin is a Creative Nonfiction and Environment and Natural Resources MFA candidate. While she's proud of her east coast roots, she's happy to call the open spaces of the western states home.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Ginger Ko studies at the University of Wyoming’s MFA in Creative Writing program.  Her poetry and reviews have appeared in smoking glue gun, Anti-, TYPO, inter|rupture, and HTMLGIANT. She is originally from Los Angeles.

Eric Krszjzaniek: Memo: On Wyomingness

Dec 10, 2013

Eric Krszjzaniek is earning his Masters degrees in English and Environment & Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. Having spent most of his life amongst the free-range cheese and fragrant cows of Wisconsin, Eric was drawn to the open expanses and sparse populations of Wyoming after stints as a renewable energy educator, a county commissioner, and an editor on an antiques magazine. Eric's work has appeared in many bathroom stall walls and has lined many cages of birds and dogs alike.

Wyoming’s new football Coach says it is bittersweet leaving North Dakota State after eleven years, but Craig Bohl is excited about bringing winning football back to the Cowboy state.  Bohl’s teams have won consecutive championships in the division below Wyoming, but he is convinced he will be successful at the Division one level.  Bohl says his teams are good on offense, but are known for their defense. 

Bob Beck

After a slow start, the University of Wyoming volley ball team went on a strong run and finished with a seven match win streak.  The Cowgirls struggled adjusting to first year Head Coach Chad Callihan, but once things clicked the team opened some eyes. 

Cool Planet Energy Systems

More than 40 million acres of trees have been killed by bark beetles in the Rocky Mountain West over the last two decades. Those trees are an eyesore, and as we heard in the last story, a source of carbon dioxide. But a new project is trying to find an upside to the epidemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given researchers at five western universities, including the University of Wyoming, $10 million to see if those dead trees can be converted into gasoline.

Adrian Shirk

Adrian Shirk was born in a now-defunct Manhattan maternity ward. Her nonfiction has appeared in Wilder Quarterly, The Airship, Owl Eye Review, 7Stops Magazine, and Packet. Currently, she's at work on a book of epistolary essays with poet Amber Stewart and is finishing an MFA in creative nonfiction at the University of Wyoming.

A version of "The Disoriented Express" recently appeared in Packet.

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