University of Wyoming

A sculpture, called Carbon Sink, installed on the University of Wyoming campus, has generated a lot of controversy in the past couple of years. It was a pin wheel of charred logs that sought to draw a connection between coal, global warming, and increased beetle kill. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that this supposedly anti-carbon message certainly got the attention of law makers, donors, and those in industry.

IRINA ZHOROV: The piece was installed in 2011 and was removed in May of 2012, a year earlier than expected.

Irina Zhorov

With the start of football season, comes the start of Cowboy Joe’s work season. Cowboy Joe, if you don’t know, is one of two University of Wyoming mascots. He’s a pony with a lot of attitude who arguably has more admirers than the football players themselves. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the current mascot is actually Cowboy Joe four, and he’s passing the reigns to Cowboy Joe five.

University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan told a gathering of University Faculty and Staff that he will retire in the Summer of 2013.  Buchanan made the announcement during the annual state of the University speech.

“This will be my last year as President of UW.  I will retire from the position of President about this time next year, at the end of the summer.   And I want you to know that it has been my honor and privilege to serve the campus community and it really is a community.  It’s been an amazing run, thank you and good afternoon. “

Bob Beck

The University of Wyoming Cowgirls Volleyball team believes that this could be their year.  18 years after their last NCAA tournament appearance and coming off two strong seasons, the Wyoming squad believes it will take a big step forward this year.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

UW wants money for a pay hike

Aug 23, 2012

Noting that it’s been more than three years since employees last saw a pay hike, the University of Wyoming board of trustees has approved a supplemental budget request to resolve that situation.  

Trustees unanimously approved a request of more than five million dollars to allow U-W to provide merit-based pay hikes that would average around three-percent.     

The University of Wyoming just finished its second straight year raising over 40 million dollars in private donations.  U-W Foundation President Ben Blalock says the support the University gets from the state leads to donations from the public.

The National Science Foundation announced today (Friday) that the University of Wyoming will receive a 20-million-dollar grant to study water resources in the state.  It’s the largest grant ever received by the University.   U-W Researcher Steve Holbrook says they hope to answer a number of water related questions and help future water managers.

Officials from the University of Wyoming dispute a recent report from the Institute For Competitive Workforce that pans college education in the state. The ICW is the nonprofit affiliation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

After a three year wait the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing center is being pieced together as scientists get ready for what will be one of the fastest and significant computers in the world.  

Today workers in Cheyenne were busy putting the computers together.  Meanwhile, those affiliated with the project can hardly contain their excitement.  Marijke Unger will be among those running the facility.  She says it will study a range of things.

“And that spans everything from solar physics to ocean circulation models to climate simulations. ”

The presidents of the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University have reaffirmed plans to sell a 50,000-acre ranch in southeast Wyoming.

The University of Wyoming Foundation and Colorado State
University Research Foundation have jointly owned the Y Cross Ranch
since 1997.

UW President Tom Buchanan and CSU President Tony Frank met and
decided this week to move ahead with selling the ranch by sealed
bid, possibly later this year.

 The University of Wyoming says it will have to cut positions as part of its eight-percent budget cut sent to Gov. Matt Mead this week. 

The governor requested the proposed cuts because of concerns about a reduction in revenue due to falling gas prices.  They are for the budget that begins in July of 2013.  University Spokesman Chad Baldwin says with 75 percent of U-W’s budget tied to salaries, he says they have no choice but to cut some positions.

Tristan Ahtone

During Wyoming Public Radio’s relationship with UW’s Master of Fine Arts program, we have also acquired some people who wanted to learn to be public radio reporters.  Three people have joined us, including this next writer.  Irina Zhorov is an accomplished photographer who wanted to develop her writing skills.  She recently graduated from the M-F-A program.  When Irina came to Wyoming from Philadelphia she had questions about her new state.  Today she tells us about her conclusions in her “Letter to Wyoming.”

Rebecca Martinez

Earlier this year the Wyoming legislature set aside some 30 million dollars in matching money to help pay for a major upgrade in U-W’s College of Engineering.  With an anticipated cost of nearly 100 million dollars, it would be U-W’s most expensive building project.  The last major addition to the College occurred in 1980.  Right now labs are too small, classrooms are crowded and the front portion of the building has a distinct 1920’s flavor.  As Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…at a time when other building projects were occurring on campus…the chairman of the Senate Appropriations

     The University of Wyoming is joining other state agencies in trying to determine how it will trim eight percent from its budget.  U-W Provost Myron Allen says an eight percent cut most certainly means that some positions will have to be eliminated.  However, Allen says it’s still too early to say if U-W will have to eliminate degree programs.

“I’d prefer not to implement across the board reductions, so there probably be some programs that are hit a lot harder than others.  But whether we will have to eliminate some programs, I don’t know yet.”

Willow Belden

A team of UW engineering students recently traveled to Alabama to compete in NASA’s annual moon buggy race. The race is for high school and college students who have designed and built non-motorized vehicles that resemble lunar rovers. Teams from all over the world participated, on a race course meant to resemble the surface of the moon. The winning moon buggies aren’t actually going to space, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports, the project is a major learning experience for the students.

Willow Belden

A doctoral student at the University of Wyoming has developed a new method for producing and selling vegetables. The student’s name is Nate Storey, and he’s designed a growing system in one of the university’s greenhouses that requires no fertilizer, produces virtually no waste and yields four times as much produce as traditional greenhouse setups. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.


The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees met today/Thursday to discuss a proposed tuition and fee increase that would begin this fall.   If passed, that option would bump up in-state tuition by 2% for the next two years. Non-residents could pay 4.5% more this fall. 

University of Wyoming Board of Trustees will discuss whether or not to increase tuition rates this week, with a final vote taking place on Friday. Under the proposal, in-state tuition would increase by 2%, while non-residents would pay 4% more this fall, and an additional increase of 2% the following year.

During the 2011-12 winter break 16 students and faculty from UW, Casper College and Laramie County Community College travelled to Ecuador to spend 8 days/7 nights touring by yacht the Galapagos Islands with author and Charles Darwin scholar Greg Estes. Days were spent hiking trails and snorkeling to observe the unique flora and fauna of these islands that are a natural laboratory for the study of Evolution. Following the Galapagos expedition the group spent 3 days hiking and birding in the Bellavista Cloud Forest Preserve in the Andes Mountains near Quito.

Listen to the Story

Noted Wyoming author Mark Jenkins is currently writing stories for National Geographic.  He will be discussing a recent article called the Healing Fields, the legacy of war and the search for Miss Landmine Cambodia during a lecture in Laramie on February 27ths at five in the UW classroom building.  Jenkins will also make some additional appearances in the state.  He talks with Bob Beck.

Tristan Ahtone

Listen to the Story

It’s been said that dead men tell no tales, but in the forensic anthropology lab at the University of Wyoming, researchers are proving otherwise. Over the winter, Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone paid a visit to the lab, and he brings us this report on what happens when you find a body in the state, and the process on how scientists identify those remains.

The American Indian Studies program at the University of Wyoming says that they have contracted architect Johnpaul Jones to develop a proposed American Indian center at U-W.

Jones has worked as lead-consultant for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, as well as numerous other cultural centers, museums and parks.

Judith Antell is Director of American Indian Studies at UW.

University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming officials plan to ask trustees in March to approve tuition rates for a two-year period.Vice President of Administration Doug Vinzant told trustees adopting a two-year planned tuition program would provide certainty for students.
     Currently, annual full-time undergraduate tuition and fees are
$4,125 for residents and $12,855 for non-residents.
     Vinzant says increases will likely be based on what the
university receives in appropriations from the Legislature.
     Gov. Matt Mead has recommended providing the university with


University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan says employee salary increases might not be possible if the state legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee requires steep cuts in the university’s next biennial block grant.
U-W requested an additional $9.7 million dollars be allocated to give U-W employees a pay increase in its next budget. However, the J-A-C has asked state departments to make plans for two, five and eight percent budget cuts to cope with diminished state revenue from natural gas prices.

A Denver woman who donated her family's
vast ranch to promote hands-on agriculture education at the
University of Wyoming and Colorado State University says she's
disappointed the schools haven't made better use of her gift as a
teaching tool.
     Now the universities are preparing to sell the Y Cross Ranch.
Amy Davis says if she could do it all over again, she wouldn't have
donated the property between Cheyenne and Laramie in southeast
     Both schools acknowledge they haven't put the Y Cross Ranch to

UW Trustees discuss proposed budget cuts

Dec 13, 2011

    The University of Wyoming says reductions in staffing and student support are among the scenarios they are considering if the legislature decides to cut its budget this year.  

U-W and other state agencies have been asked to explain what reductions of two, five and eight percent would mean to their budgets.  At the high end, U-W President Tom Buchanan says the cuts would be severe.  In the two percent scenario, Buchanan says reductions not connected to academics would be made.   But he admits that will change if the cuts are more than that.

 The National Science Foundation has awarded Wyoming and Utah researchers six million dollars to study how Climate change and other factors will affect water storage and availability in the inter-mountain west.  University of Wyoming Civil Engineering Professor Fred Ogden says the researchers will develop high-performance computer models to understand complex water issues facing western states.                            .

As the University of Wyoming considers tougher admission standards…the offshoot is that it might be tougher for minority students to automatically qualify to attend U-W. 

A study found that if the standards had been in effect in 2009… 56 percent of Native Americans, African Americans and Hispanics who applied to U-W would have been automatically qualified, while 83 percent of white students would have been accepted.