- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has selected three finalists - all currently with institutions outside the state - for president of the state’s only public four-year university.

The candidates announced Friday are Jeremy Haefner, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Henrietta, New York; Duane Nellis, president of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas; and Laurie Nichols, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.

“I find all three of them to be quality people that I think could lead the University of Wyoming,” said trustee Dave Bostrom, who chaired one of the two search committees.

Each of the candidates is scheduled to make public appearances on campus, beginning Monday with Nellis. Nichols is set to visit on Wednesday, and Haefner on Dec. 14.

Public meetings will be held for the finalists to visit with faculty, students, staff and community members. In addition, the Board of Trustees will accept public comment until Dec. 15 and conduct closed interviews with each candidate.

Trustees have scheduled a special meeting on Dec. 18.

The trustees released the names after a closed-door meeting on Friday. Until now, the university had conducted its search for a replacement for outgoing president Dick McGinity in secret.

The original timeline set by the trustees for selecting a new president was early next year. But with other colleges across the country looking to fill positions, the UW search has been expedited.

“If we get it done in a shorter time period, we don’t have the risk of losing qualified applicants who make a decision to go elsewhere,” Bostrom said.

If a decision is made before Jan. 1, the new president will be UW’s third in as many years.

McGinity was appointed to the job of administering the university with about 13,400 students in January 2014. He replaced Bob Sternberg, who resigned in November 2013 after less than five months on the job amid many complaints from faculty and others about changes Sternberg made among top administrators.

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