Laramie’s UW R&E Center to transition, streamline management structure
Laramie – A letter sent in late October from UW College of Agriculture Dean Frank Galey states the internal reorganization of operations at the Laramie Research and Extension Center is being completed to streamline operations, improve transparency and faculty access and provide for more efficient planning.
“The farm will remain in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and there is no intention to change the status of the farm. Not changing the status of the farm has the full support of the college administration, as well as the entire Wyoming agriculture industry,” comments Galey.
“From an internal administration standpoint, this streamlines everything and increases efficiency,” adds UW Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) Director Bret Hess. “The ultimate authority will be AES, instead of the greenhouse complex, lab animal facilities and the stock farm each being administered by a different department.”
Formerly the UW greenhouse complex was supervised by the Plant Sciences department, the lab animal facilities were supervised the by the Veterinary Sciences department and the stock farm was managed by the Animal Science department.
“The change will make one body, a director, who will serve as supervisor for all three units, and that will include fiscal and physical responsibilities,” explains Hess.
Hess adds that at present the greenhouse complex and lab animal facilities have already shifted their management to the AES office, while the stock farm is still in a transitional state.
“There is some concern within the Animal Science department, but both departments that have already switched are very happy with how it works,” notes Galey. “The faculty still drive the strategic issues, but they don’t have to deal with the day to day management.”
Galey adds faculty will still be the voice determining what happens at the experiment stations. “Funding will not change, and the projects will still be faculty driven. But, instead of the funds being filtered through three different departments, they will go directly to the station with a single stop for reporting and auditing,” explains Galey.
“We are currently in the process of hiring a director, who will coordinate with staff and help UW faculty conduct their research and educational activities at the Laramie R&E Center,” notes Hess.
“We hope to have a person hired by Feb. 15, because one week later all the center directors and some managers from different centers come to Laramie. That’s the time when everyone interacts and develops a plan for the upcoming year,” says Hess.
“It will be a state of transition for a while. Right now we’ve asked Animal Science Department Head Doug Hixon to mentor the incoming director on aspects relevant to the stock farm,” explains Hess.
“I think people are fearful of change, even a little internal change. But I would like to reassure everyone that I’m probably the most external oriented dean we’ve had in a long time, and I’m very committed to making this work, as are college administrators,” adds Galey.
Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.