After 4 Month Tenure, U. of Wyoming President Resigns

November 15, 2013

Robert Sternberg -- president of the University of Wyoming since July -- announced his resignation on Thursday. In a statement released by the university, he said, "I care a great deal about this university. And I have come to realize that as wonderful as the University of Wyoming is, it may not be the best fit for me as president. So I tendered my resignation today to the Board of Trustees." The announcement followed a meeting of nearly nine hours in executive session of the university's board.

During his time in office, Sternberg has pushed for change in the senior administrative ranks, and three deans and five other administrators have left their positions. While turnover in the administrative ranks is common when new presidents take over, the pace of change at Wyoming has been speedy and controversial -- and some who have left (especially the law dean) have been public about their frustration. The university statement, however, quoted the board president as backing the direction in which Sternberg was leading: “The board fully accepts and endorses the personnel changes and changes in direction at the university that have taken place in the last several months that emphasize and reinforce the university’s land-grant mission with service to the people of Wyoming, its state government and the economy.”

Sternberg spent much of his career as a psychology professor at Yale University and is a leader in the field of measuring non-cognitive abilities. He was named president at Wyoming after serving as provost at Oklahoma State University. In that position and at Wyoming, he has spoken out repeatedly about the mission of land-grant universities. In an interview with the editorial board of The Casper Star-Tribune this week, he defended his leadership, and said he was carrying out the plans he had discussed with the trustees. “I am doing exactly what they hired me to do," he said.


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