LARAMIE — The provost and senior vice president at Oklahoma State University has been named the 24th president of the University of Wyoming.
The UW board of trustees Tuesday unanimously voted to offer Robert Sternberg a three-year contract with a base pay of $425,000, though contract details are still being finalized. He will take office July 1, succeeding retiring President Tom Buchanan.
The choice brings to a close a search that started last fall and attracted more than 80 candidates. The search was not conducted publicly, earning the university a lawsuit by three media outlets that eventually forced them to disclose the names of the four finalists. The university claimed it needed to keep the search private to encourage as many applicants as possible while the news outlets argued the public had a right to know by the time finalists were on the table.
Sternberg said he was thrilled with the selection.
"Of all the places in the country, Wyoming is the one where my wife and I most wanted to go," Sternberg said in a UW release.
The board pointed out that Sternberg is a great fit for the university and will build on Buchanan's leadership.
"Collectively, we've agreed that this is the most important decision we will make during our tenure on the board of trustees, and every action we have taken has been made to ensure a successful outcome to this process," said board President Dave Bostrom.
At Oklahoma State, Sternberg has served as the university's chief academic officer, with oversight of its various colleges and campuses comprising about 35,000 students and 1,600 tenure-stream faculty members. He also is vice chairman of the board of the OSU Center for Innovation and Economic Development, which fosters startup companies based upon innovation by faculty members much like UW's Wyoming Technology Business Center. He said the energy industry plays a key role at both his former and future university, meaning he believes his experiences at Oklahoma State will help him at UW.
"Oklahoma State and Wyoming are probably two of the most similar universities in the country," he said.
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