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Constitutional Amendment A

This resolution amends Article 7, Section 17, of the Wyoming Constitution to allow up to 20% of the appointed trustees of the University of Wyoming to be residents of a state other than Wyoming.

This constitutional amendment will become effective upon receiving a majority vote of all electors voting during the 2014 General Election. If you vote on other issues but don’t cast a vote on the amendment, it is counted against the “yes” votes and has the effect of a “no.”

Language of Constitutional Amendment A as it appears on the General Election ballot:

The adoption of this amendment would allow the governor to appoint nonresidents of the state to serve as University of Wyoming trustees. Not more than twenty percent (20%) of the appointed trustees may be nonresidents of the state. The governor would not be required to appoint any nonresident as a trustee. All appointments to the board of trustees are with the advice and consent of the Wyoming Senate.

(A complete copy of 2013 Senate Enrolled Joint Resolution No. 1, Original Senate Joint Resolution No. 0001 is available at http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2013/Enroll/SJ0001.pdf)

Statements in support (pro) and opposing (con) Amendment A

PRO

  • Many University of Wyoming alumni are prominent in industries and businesses in other parts of our country, and they could bring in fresh ideas, while preserving the UW culture.
  • Given the requirement that the UW Board of Trustees be balanced from a political viewpoint, with no more than seven of the allowed thirteen members being of one political party, a larger pool of candidates would make maintaining this diversity easier.
  • The Legislature discussed concerns about whether nonresidents would understand the culture and needs of Wyoming and its flagship land-grant university. In response, the Legislature changed state law to require that nonresident trustee candidates have a clear, demonstrable and ongoing connection with -- and interest in -- the state and the university.
  • The Wyoming Senate must ratify each appointment to the Board of Trustees of the University of Wyoming. That will ensure that candidates meet the requirements of state statutes.
  • The constitutional amendment does not require appointment of nonresident trustees. The change merely will permit the governor to appoint two nonresidents among the total 13 trustees.

CON

  • People who do not live in Wyoming may not understand the needs and obligations of a state land-grant university and may advocate policies which do not benefit either the students or the state in the long term.
  • This would open a UW trustee seat to executives from industries with major financial interests in Wyoming. They might press for policies and educational directions that would benefit their interests rather than the interests of students who will have to compete globally in many fields.
  • The Legislature did change state law to include assurances a nonresident trustee would understand Wyoming culture and needs of its land-grant university. However, a law is easily amended during a legislative session. It is possible the Legislature could weaken or remove those requirements, allowing appointment of people who know little or nothing about the needs and obligations of our university.
  • How can nonresidents stay adequately informed about the day-to-day affairs of the university, especially if they are prominent leaders in their fields? Will UW get their best input?
  • Travel to Laramie for out-of-state trustees can be expensive and difficult, especially during winter. Will nonresident trustees increase the cost to UW, and will they be able to participate all year?

Read PRO/CON information in pdf >>>

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