An official with the University of Illinois system was offered a contract Wednesday to take over as president of the University of Wyoming.
UW trustees, in a unanimous vote, selected Edward Seidel to fill the vacancy in the president’s office left with the departure of Laurie Nichols.
Seidel, vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois system, is to take the office in July, according to a news release from the university.
“I am honored and thrilled to be selected by the Board of Trustees to take on this important role for both the university and the state of Wyoming,” Seidel said. “UW is such an incredibly strong and vibrant institution, and it will have an enormous impact on the future of the state and region.”
As president, Seidel will receive an annual base salary of $365,000, along with a $60,000 housing allowance and a $50,000 contribution to a deferred compensation plan.
Gov. Mark Gordon said Seidel’s experience will help the university.
“His exceptional technical and scientific background will benefit the research efforts of a land grant university,” he said in a news release. “I am excited. It is not often that a new governor gets the opportunity to work with a new university president at such a critical time in the state’s history.”
Seidel has also served as the director for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and as senior vide president for research and innovation for the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow, Russia.
Seidel earned his Ph.D. in relativistic astrophysics from Yale University, a master’s degree in physics from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from the College of William and Mary.
Nichols left the UW after it was announced in March 2019 her contract as president would not be renewed. She is now president of Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Neil Theobald, the UW’s vice president for finance and administration, took over as acting president in July.