On Tuesday the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced that Robert Sternberg currently the provost and senior vice president at Oklahoma State University would replace the outgoing President Tom Buchanan. Sternberg has a strong academic background and is currently OSU’s top academic officer and has made some comments about what he wants to accomplish in his tenure academically. For the time being his vision and expectations for the athletic department remain a mystery. Athletics play a big role in the outreach of any university and Sternberg’s views on athletics were most definitely sought from the trustees during the interview process. It will be interesting to see what he has to say about Wyoming athletics in the coming weeks and months before he takes over on July 1. I doubt the trustees would hire anyone who wasn’t supportive of athletics (in general) as the president of the university but stranger things have happened and we will not know for sure until he is in Laramie and running the show.
The first person who should be on notice with this news is Athletic Director Tom Burman. The former Portland State AD has done an admirable job in his six years in charge of Wyoming’s athletic programs considering the department’s budget limitations. Yet, Wyoming has ZERO Mountain West titles in any sport since Burman took over. If winning is at the top of Sternberg’s athletic priority list there is a chance that Burman could be replaced with someone handpicked by Sternberg himself. This is all speculation of course until we hear straight from Sternberg. Yet, anytime there is a transition at the top of an institution change in the leadership structure from the top down is certain to be altered in some way. So hold on to your hats and be ready for a possibly bumpy ride and hope Sternberg doesn’t pull a Dubois and decide to change the school colors.