Three finalists for Haub School Dean

The UW Haub School has narrowed down the search for its new dean to three candidates.

On Nov. 14, 2016, the University of Wyoming announced the opening of the search for a new dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources.

“The Haub School is not new, but it’s very young,” finalist Evan Siemann, Wiess Professor of Biosciences and Rice University’s associate vice provost for academic affairs, said, ”and it seems to be in a really interesting phase of growth where it could become one of the really important environmental schools in the U.S.”

Currently, the search has been narrowed down to three finalists: Jason Shogren, Stroock professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management in the UW Department of Economics and Finance, Melinda Harm Benson, associate professor of environmental studies and geography at the University of New Mexico and Siemann.

According to a UW news release on Nov. 14, 2016, the dean is the “unit’s chief academic and administrative officer. The dean oversees six academic programs serving approximately 250 students and 17 core faculty and staff, as well as the school’s Ruckelshaus Institute.”

The news release said that a 15-member committee consisting of UW Staff, faculty, students and off-campus natural resources stakeholders would conduct the search. The committee began reviewing applications Jan. 6.

Doug Wachob was announced as interim dean of the Haub School in August of 2016, after former dean Indy Burke accepted the dean position at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Wachob is the director of academic programs in the Haub School, and a member of the search committee chaired by UW Provost Kate Miller, according to the UW news release on Nov. 14, 2016.

Each candidate is scheduled for an interview and delivery of a public presentation at UW.

Siemann said candidates were asked to speak about their research and experiences in leadership and administrative roles, as well as their vision for the Haub School and how they can contribute to its development.

Shogren was interviewed Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with his public presentation on environmental and natural resource economics and motives for public policy given on Tuesday in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium. Shogren received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wyoming, according to the UW news release on April 6.

Harm Benson will visit UW April 13-14. Benson gave her public presentation Thursday, April 13, in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium at 2 p.m. Her presentation focused on how citizens conceptualize, employ and protect the natural world through environmental governance. Harm Benson received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho College of Law, according to the UW news release.

Siemann will visit campus April 17-18, presenting his research and vision for the Haub School on Monday, April 17, in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium at 2 p.m. Ecology, plant and soil interactions, invasive species, biodiversity and biofuels are among his teaching and research work, according to the UW news release.

Siemann said, “Challenges of taking something that’s sort of young or new and turning it into something bigger or more important is just something I find really fun.”

Siemann said he completed his undergrad work at Cornell University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and did his post-doctoral work at the University of New Mexico.

After each candidate’s public presentations, a survey to submit comments to the search committee will be available for input from the UW community.

According to the Nov. 14 news release, the anticipated start date for the chosen dean is June 1.

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1 Comment

  1. Shogren should step aside – he falsely claims to…”sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore.”. We should expect much better from UW Deans.

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