Laurie Nichols Dave True

University of Wyoming Board of Trustees chairman Dave True, left, sits next to UW President Laurie Nichols while the two listen to public testimony during a Thursday meeting in Laramie. Faculty, staff and students expressed concerns during the public comment period about the board’s decision to not renew Nichols’ contract after June 30.

The University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees plans to have an “acting president” take over for President Laurie Nichols after her contract expires June 30.

After the trustees’ monthly meeting ended Friday, UW issued a press release stating that the acting president will oversee the school’s leadership team while “the board plans and then conducts an open and transparent search for a presidential successor.”

The trustees met for several hours in executive session on Thursday and Friday but never discussed their presidential search plans in open session.

“While we don’t have a precise timetable at this point, the board is committed to a presidential search that involves stakeholders across UW’s constituencies, including Wyoming citizens,” board chairman Dave True said in a Friday statement.

Friday’s announcement included the most complimentary statements on Nichols’s presidency that have been made by True since Monday’s surprise announcement that Nichols would not be given a new contract.

In Friday’s press release, True said “the president, her leadership team and others have put the university on a very positive trajectory, and the board intends to do everything it can to continue the momentum that has been built during the past three years.”

“We appreciate President Nichols’s dedicated service, and we truly believe her hard work and that of many others has created a tremendous opportunity for her successor,” True said.

He’s the only trustee who’s spoken with reporters regarding the decision. However, his statements have revealed nothing about why the board’s opting to oust the popular president.

Nichols said Monday at a Faculty Senate meeting she was “very surprised” to learn the board decided to remove her as president.

Faculty Senate chairman Donal O’Toole said Nichols displayed “grace under pressure” on Monday when she urged the campus community to honor the board’s decision.

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