Search for Honors Program director begins

The Honors house. A search committee has been formed to find a new director for the Honors Program, which has the potential to make the transition to an Honors College. Organized by provost Miller, the committee will be headed by Steven Barrett. (Photo by Sydney Edwards)

A search committee, organized by provost Kate Miller, is being formed to find a new director for The Honors Program, which is in the process of transitioning to becoming the Honors College, to take over the position for next fall.

Steven Barrett, associate dean for academic programs and professor in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, has been appointed as the head of the committee. Barrett said the committee will consist of interested persons from throughout the university who are invested in the success of the Honors Program.

“We are seeking representation from throughout the University, from units that regularly interact with the Honors Program,” Barrett said.
Students will also be involved in the search.

“I am working with ASUW President Ben Wetzel to identify students who have a deep interest in the Honors Program and would be interested in serving on the search committee,” Barrett said.

Interim director of the Honors Program Susan Aronstein, has led the Honors Program since 2014 and will step down on Aug. 31. Aronstein has supervised several developments in the Honors Program, including the hiring of the first tenure tracked faculty member of the Honors Program and bringing in donors.
Barrett said he hopes the next leader of the program will be able to build on this foundation.

“The Honors Program has enjoyed strong leadership for many years from Professor Susan Aronstein and Professor Duncan Harris,” Barrett said. “Our goal is continue this legacy of strong leadership.”

The search comes at a pivitol moment in the Honors Program’s history, as it will soon be evaluated for its potential transition to the Honors College. Barrett said he hopes the decision to change the Honors Program to the Honors College will be forthcoming.

“The Trustees will consider the elevation of the Honors Program to an Honors College soon,” Barrett said. “The committee’s charge is to identify and recommend three finalists to lead the Honors Program. Depending on the Trustees decision this may be a Director or a Dean.”

Ashley Defoe, senior in the Honors Program, said that the transition to an Honors College would be beneficial for the university and Laramie community.

“Our Honors student’s do amazing things with the support they are given and can, and will, do even more after the transition to a College because more resources, support, and opportunities will be available to them,” Defoe said.
Barrett said he hopes to begin the search as quickly as possible.

“Our goal is to provide Provost Miller a list of three finalists with their strengths and challenges by July 1, 2017,” Barrett said.

Barrett said that some interest in the position has already been generated, both from within the university and out.

“There is already strong interest from several faculty members in pursuing this position,” Barrett said.

As the search intensifies, Barrett said he hopes to hear from the UW community about who they believe would best fill the position.



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