Releasing the names of three-five finalists by mid-December is the goal of the University of Wyoming second presidential search committee.

A pool of about 10-15 presidential candidates was passed to the second committee last week. The group has already begun reviewing the applications in search for the cream of the crop, said John MacPherson, second committee member and UW Board of Trustee member.

“We want to find the most qualified candidate,” he said. “We’re looking through all of their qualifications and experience and hopefully, as a result of the process, end up with the best candidates.”

The search is following an expedited timeline created by the UW Trustees, Trustee Mike Massie said.

“We were worried about possible timing,” he said. “We felt we had a large enough pool of quality candidates to make decisions and pass them to the second group.”

The original timeline would have the first meetings after Dec. 1 — the official deadline for applications, Massie said. The finalists wouldn’t have been announced until January. At the suggestion of the search consultant, an accelerated timeline was created in response to competition from other schools.

“There are a lot of schools looking for presidents and provosts,” he said. “We’ve already lost a couple candidates who took positions elsewhere.”

Waiting to announce finalists until after winter break could allow more time for top presidential candidates to find positions elsewhere, Massie said. The search will remain closed to the public until the announcement.

The second committee is now en route to announce three-five names in December, MacPherson said, to avoid losing the best candidates.

“We’re working as fast as they come in,” he said.

Despite the planned timeline, the quality of candidates will determine when meetings and announcements take place, Massie said.

“We went forward with the expedited search only because the quality of candidates in the pool allowed it,” he said.

The first committee began reviewing the candidates Oct. 16, sifting through the résumés and applications for 10-15 frontrunners. Interviews and more in-depth reviewing is the job of the second committee.

MacPherson is unsure if anything related to the search will be discussed during next week’s Board of Trustees meeting, he said.

“It’s all up in the air,” he said. “If there’s an action item, it will be public. If we’re having a discussion about some candidates, it’ll be in an executive session.”

Finalists will be expected to visit campus and have open interviews with the public after the names are revealed.

Public comment is still being accepted. Email to provide advice or nominate someone.

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