University of Wyoming College of Education Dean Ray Reutzel will be the first UW representative on the Wyoming State Board of Education.

Reutzel was appointed by UW President Laurie Nichols in response to the passing of House Bill 42, which was signed by Governor Matt Mead in February. The bill granted the university a nonvoting, ex-officio membership on the board, according to a UW news release.

State Board of Education Chair Walt Wilcox said the board has long had an interest in having a UW representative, in order to provide better educational oversight and collaboration in Wyoming schools.

“Part of our responsibilities are that general oversight for vocational and school and educational topics within Wyoming,” Wilcox said. “Looking at this as a pre-K through grade 16 type-journey, there’s a lot of relevance in having the University of Wyoming connected with that.”

Wilcox said the State Board of Education already works with Jim Rose, the ex-officio representative for the Wyoming Community College Commission.

Wilcox said having the university’s input is vital for maintaining a direction for the state’s educational standards as well as consistency with student’s college readiness assessment.

“Having their voice connected with that, towards that educational journey and the content areas, as well as where we go for the readiness elements of young adults - it’s vital to have the university involved,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox said the next State Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, May 17 and 18 and the board has extended the invitation for Reutzel to attend.

“We would like to have that voice join as soon as possible and we are looking forward to that possibly happening as early as this month,” Wilcox said.

The State Board of Education is responsible for setting policies across the state, including state standards, school accreditation, accountability and assessments in order to maintain education quality and access throughout the state.