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Laurie Nichols, the next president of the University of Wyoming, will assume office May 16, the school announced Monday.

The terms of Nichols’ three-year contract have also been finalized.

She will be paid a base salary of $350,000 with additional perks, including a vehicle, a $48,000 housing allowance, $35,000 annually for deferred compensation and a $25,000 retention payment paid at the end of each year.

In addition to her presidency, Nichols will be a tenured, full professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Services in the university’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The University Board of Trustees chose Nichols, the first woman president in the school’s history, out of three finalists Dec. 18. Nichols will succeed Dick McGinity, who has served as president since January 2014.

Many are hoping Nichols will begin a new era for the state’s only four-year university, observers say. The last president chosen in a national search, Bob Sternberg, served only 137 days as president. He stepped down after high turnover in top positions at the school, including an outspoken resignation from the dean of the UW College of Law.

Nichols has served as the provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at South Dakota State University since 2009. She has expressed a passion for land-grant universities such as UW.

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