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"The trustees may think, 'Let's turn the university into a service component for the minerals industry in the state, and English and physics can follow along behind,'" O'Toole said. "I don't think they're that stupid, but it's hard to know the dynamic that goes on among the trustees."
O'Toole said the handling of "Carbon Sink" shows the risks UW runs in selecting a president through a confidential process.
O'Toole said he and other faculty members plan to go to the State Capitol on Friday to voice their concerns about the bill before the Senate. Who goes will likely depend on teaching schedules.
It was removed in May because of the uproar it caused within Wyoming's energy industry, according to The Associated Press.
a very conservative faculty, and there is a lot of implicit faith and trust in the trustees," O'Toole said. "And folks thought, 'OK, well, the trustees have the best interest of the university at heart.'
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UW President Tom Buchanan, who is retiring this summer, initially approved the art installation, but wrote in a later email that it should be removed "given the controversy that it has generated."
"Carbon Sink" was an outdoor art piece installed on the UW campus in 2011. The artwork was made of beetle killed logs surrounded by coal.
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But not every UW faculty member feels the same as O'Toole about the secret process. A faculty senate resolution in support of transparency in selecting a new president failed Monday by a 33 21 vote.
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LARAMIE Will the University of Wyoming's next president be an energy industry yes man or woman?
ï»¿University of Wyoming faculty votes against open presidential search
to Cheyenne, not to protest, but to Nike Huarache Purple say, 'Please give this some thought.' This is a big deal what they're doing, and it's setting a trend for how it's going to be done in the future. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.
Emails obtained by the Casper Star Tribune showed UW worked quickly to move the offending artwork, but chose to tell the public it was removed on schedule and because of water damage.
And not all high level administrators are hired in secret. UW released names of the three finalists for the Arts and Sciences dean earlier this year.
"The minerals industry is becoming more influential in the Legislature," O'Toole added. "We had a little taste of that with 'Carbon Sink.'"
In an attempt to avoid that, some Wyoming legislators introduced House Bill 223, which would make it legal to deny access to information that would identify candidates in UW and community college president searches. Friday in Room S 11.
"There's another side to this, and it's not just, A, a whole bunch of newspaper folks trying to sell newspapers and, B, a bunch of faculty wanting to decide who the president is. We just want to have some input and to do some checking of our own," O'Toole said. "We want someone who basically has a sympathetic understanding of universities."
"But they may be looking for slightly different things than we might be able to see and vice versa."
Proponents of the bill have said making candidate names public would shrink the pool of viable candidates. Officials at UW say four of the eight remaining candidates have withdrawn from
consideration if their names will be released.
Keeping presidential candidate names secret throughout the process not only silences the public and faculty, it also could potentially give more power to special interests, O'Toole said.
From the beginning of the presidential search, UW trustees have said names of candidates would remain confidential until a new president has been selected. But a recent court order requires UW to release the names of finalists when they are given to trustees.
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UW veterinary sciences professor Donal O'Toole doubts it, but it's a possibility that has him concerned about the trustees' secretive presidential search process.
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