Throughout the years, dozens of University of Wyoming projects and programs have been partially or fully funded through the work of the UW Foundation, and the UW Board of Trustees passed a resolution stating its continued support.
After hearing an update on UW Foundation affairs, Trustee John MacPherson made a motion in support of the fundraising and support partner during a meeting last week.
“The Board manifests its full and complete support of the University of Wyoming Foundation, its leadership, the Foundation board and Foundation members, and further express the boards full and complete confidence in all matters the Foundation has undertaken,” the motion states.
The Trustees unanimously passed the vote of confidence, publicly showing the board’s backing of the Foundation.
“It wasn’t intended to change anything,” Trustee David Bostrom said. “It’s expressing our support for the efforts and actions of the Foundation.”
Foundation CEO Ben Blalock was present when the resolution passed.
“We’re very pleased,” he said. “We have a great working relationship, and their willingness to show such is deeply gratifying.”
Trustee Jeff Marsh explained that, while the board has always had a great relationship with the Foundation, it can sometimes be taken for granted.
“It’s important that they know we appreciate what they do and the role in which they play,” he said. “There’s not another institution that has the kind of strong relationship we have (with the Foundation).”
UW Foundation Board Chair Scot Neu said the vote of confidence’s timing could relate to the recent sale of the Y-Cross Ranch to Toby Kimzey earlier this summer.
“Ultimately, in the last month, some accusations have been made about the Foundation and its leadership,” he said. “It’s nice to be recognized publicly, but we’ve had a great working relationship for a very long time. They’re our partners — we work for them.”
Trustee Mel Baldwin said while the ranch sale could have influenced the timing, it was not the singular reason the vote of confidence was passed.
“I didn’t see it as a reaction to the ranch sale,” he said. “They’ve had real success.”
Regardless of timing, this is the first such confidence resolution in the 19 years Ben Blalock has been with UW.
“That made the occasion even more special,” he said.
While he voted to approve the vote of confidence, Trustee Mike Massie said it was almost unnecessary, as it does not change the good working relationship between the two entities.
“It stated the perception of the Board of Trustees before and after (the vote),” he said. “The Foundation has the trust of the Board of Trustees.”