CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming officials will soon interview candidates for a new director for the Wyoming Department of Education.
The Wyoming State Board of Education said it's seeking a director with integrity who’s able to lead a complex organization throughout legislative processes. Those ideal candidate profile traits are among a dozen unanimously approved by the board in a teleconference meeting Thursday.
The board plans to review candidates’ applications May 29 and interview semifinalists in person May 31 and June 1 in Cheyenne. The board also decided Thursday to hold a moderated forum where the public may ask the candidates questions. The board will interview the candidates in an executive session, which is closed to the public.
The final selection will rest with Gov. Matt Mead.
Board members said they wanted to include the public and seek feedback in the selection process.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that at that point that people would expect to have those names public,” board Chairman Ron Micheli said about candidates who make the board’s final cut. They may have about six candidates at that point, board members said.
Board member Pete Gosar agreed with Micheli.
“I think some of the stuff that happened at UW was because they went past that step and people felt left out,” Gosar said.
The search for a new University of Wyoming president was initially closed to the public, leading to months of legal dispute with media organizations. University officials ultimately made the names of the finalists public.
The short turnaround between when the board narrows the list and the scheduled in-person interviews is possible, as long as candidates know ahead of time it’s possible they’ll need to be present, Gary Ray of Ray and Associates Inc. told board members. His firm is assisting the state education board in the search for a new director and plans to conduct preliminary interviews.
The new director's salary will range between $190,000 and $220,000, according to a flier the firm made and the board approved.
The 2013 Legislature charged the board with presenting three candidate names to Mead, who then will choose one as the next director of the Wyoming Department of Education. Mead has until Dec. 1 to make his decision.
Senate File 104, which was approved in the 2013 legislative session, removed the elected superintendent of public instruction as head of the department and created the position of an appointed director. Jim Rose, the executive director of the Wyoming Community College Commission, has been serving as acting director.