UW Trustees Give Green Light to Development of School of Computing

The University of Wyoming will begin the study and planning for a new School of Computing, following action by the UW Board of Trustees Wednesday.

Meeting in Torrington, the board approved the UW administration’s notice of intent to develop the new academic unit, which would infuse computation, and digital and data science across the university for the benefit of students, faculty and staff — and be a statewide asset with statewide and national impacts, and global reach. The board must vote again to authorize the launch of the school. With final board approval, the launch could take place in early 2022.

“The School of Computing will provide the organizational infrastructure and emphasis to accelerate the growth and impact of computing, artificial intelligence and data science at UW across research, teaching, entrepreneurship and engagement,” President Ed Seidel says. “Computing differs from other departments in science or engineering, in that it is pervasive across a university; is multidisciplinary; will increase external funding; and requires collaboration at the college or school level. This novel organizational structure will ensure that computing and digital literacy become pervasive across all disciplines at UW.”

Other “schools” at UW include the School of Energy Resources, and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. Each has a dean and administrative structure similar to the university’s seven academic colleges, and each draws on faculty from across the university.

The School of Computing is part of a proposed transformation of UW’s academic programs to propel new and ongoing initiatives and to deal with budget cuts. The overall plan, presented to the Board of Trustees Wednesday, also includes proposals to reconfigure UW’s colleges; discontinue or reorganize some academic programs; build on UW’s existing Tier-1 Engineering, Science and Trustees Education initiatives; and advance the new Wyoming Innovation Partnership. The proposal also calls for launching a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and a Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality Initiative.

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