McFarland: CWC serves Lander well

Jun 13, 2014 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

Lander is being well-served by Central Wyoming College, says the outgoing president of the school.

Dr. Jo Anne McFarland detailed the college's current commitment to Lander during an appearance before Lander Enterprises and Development of Economic Resources this month.

McFarland, who is set to retire from CWC this summer, was asked by the LEADER board to discuss how the college is impacting the Lander community.

"The college is greatly serving Lander," McFarland said.

She covered data showing CWC will have spent more than $3 million in Lander through capital projects through fiscal year 2014 and 2015.

The college also has seen an increase in employees from the Lander area, from 39 in 2010 to 63 for 2015.

McFarland said pay and benefits paid to Lander staff members was more than $2.5 million for fiscal year 2014.

She spoke of taking the presidency at a "low point" for the college when the administration had to work to change perspectives.

"We had to quit over-promising," McFarland said. "We would rather over-deliver."

In order to do that, she said CWC developed a strategic plan of three to five priorities to focus on each year while also developing the college's programs.

Three programs coming to CWC involve the energy industry, culinary arts and geo-spatial positioning information technology, which will be unique to the college.

CWC is working with local school districts to ensure students are learning what they need to be successful in college, the president said.

If the college is successful, McFarland said it could be a model for the rest of the state.

She said expanding the CWC Jackson Center, modeled after the Lander Center, is being planned.

"Fremont County is not paying for the Jackson Center," McFarland stressed.

The new president, Dr. Cristobal Valdez, takes over July 15.

"I am excited for things going on at the college," McFarland said. "There are a lot of seeds planted."

Former state Rep. Del McOmie, who is running for Lander mayor this year, thanked McFarland for her years served and for standing up for what she believed in at the state level.

"We are going to miss your leadership," he said. "The new president has a lot of shoes to fill."

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