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TMCNet:  Should UW trustees be able to live out of state?

[January 01, 2013]

Should UW trustees be able to live out of state?

CHEYENNE, Jan 01, 2013 (Wyoming Tribune-Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A proposed bill would allow two members of the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees to live out of state.

Senate File 38 is sponsored by Sen. Tony Ross, R-Cheyenne; Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie; and Rep. Tim Stubson, R-Casper.

Ross said he wants to expand the membership on the UW Board of Trustees to include people who live outside the state.

Current state law says the 12 members of the board must come from seven specific geographic districts in Wyoming.

Wyoming's governor appoints people to the board for six-year terms with the consent of the state Senate.

The bill would increase the board's membership to 14 people. Two of those members would live outside of Wyoming, Ross said.

"I believe there are a whole host of individuals who are loyal to UW, graduated from there, or have ties there, who can bring a whole wealth of business acumen to the table," Ross said last week.

The expansion of the board to include two out-of-state members could bring a more national perspective to the board "that I believe will only enhance the University of Wyoming in the long run," he said.

He said he hasn't found a reason why people who live outside of state could not be trustees. He expects people like chief executive officers from large corporations would serve.

UW's Foundation Board doesn't have such a state residency requirement, he said. The Foundation Board raises money and receives private gifts for the university.

"There are some very talented people on the Foundation Board from outside the state," Ross said.


SF 38 would still maintain the 12 members who would be required to live in Wyoming.

David Bostrom, president of the UW Board of Trustees, said Monday he was not in a position to give an opinion on the bill. He hasn't seen the proposal or talked to Ross.

"People have opinions on both sides," he said.

But it is a valid thought, he added.

"There are people outside of the boundaries of Wyoming who are certainly qualified," he said. He, too, mentioned that people from out of state serve on UW's Foundation Board.

"I think it bears consideration that we have someone with Wyoming or UW ties who could be valuable as a board of trustees member," Bostrom said.

"We'll have to look at it very closely. It will have to be something debated over time." SF 38 also proposes that not more than nine trustees would be from the same political party. Right now, not more than seven members are registered with the same party.

___ (c)2013 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.) Visit Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.) at www.wyomingnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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