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Pedersen quits CWC board post two months after election

Pedersen quits CWC board post two months after election

Jan 17, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College Trustee Judy Pedersen resigned from her post Wednesday, apologizing to voters who elected her to another four-year term in November.

"I feel my time on the board has come to an end," Pedersen said Wednesday at the start of the CWC Board of Trustees meeting. "Even though we've resolved many issues, I still feel this board would be better served to have someone else on the board other than me."

Her statements came after an executive session meeting Wednesday, during which trustees discussed election-night statements attributed to Pedersen in The Ranger. In the Nov. 7 story, Pedersen was quoted as saying, "I don't really look forward to another four years of being the only person that really looks at the issues."

Board members also talked about Pedersen's statements during a board meeting Nov. 14, when Barbara Gose, a CWC Foundation member and wife of CWC trustee Roger Gose, requested that the board address Pedersen's public comments. Barbara Gose cited the board's policy governance manual, which instructs trustees to "never criticize the college president, CWC staff, or board members in public."

In November, trustees said they were offended by Pedersen's published statement, but board chair Charlie Krebs on Wednesday said the group was ready to move forward.

"Although many of the trustees stated ... that the comments were inappropriate and insensitive, we also now recognize that the

comments may have been taken out of context and that any offense was not intentional," Krebs said Wednesday. "We encourage all trustees to use discretion when speaking in public as an individual trustee, but we also pledge to respect all of our fellow trustees and to support vigorous debate on college issues at public board meetings that represent differing trustee viewpoints."

He made the statement immediately before Pedersen's resignation.

Ranger publisher Steve Peck said the newspaper stands by its reporting of the post-election remark.

"The context was never in doubt, and the quote was accurate," he said.

Before leaving the meeting, Pedersen said she appreciates the board and the work that board members undertake.

"But I'm going," she said. "That's my resignation. Thank you."

Pedersen served on the board from 1994 to 1998 and from 2008 to 2012, and she was re-elected in 2012 for another four-year term. When she resigned she had the title of board secretary, and on Wednesday, Trustee Heather Christensen was chosen to fill that position.

Replacement process

After accepting a resignation, the CWC board has 30 days to fill a vacated trustee spot. More than 30 days will pass before the board's next regular meeting Feb. 20, however, so board members plan to hold a special phone meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, to consider officially Pedersen's resignation.

"It's public knowledge now that she resigned," Trustee Scott Phister said. "We anticipate accepting it on the 23rd."

CWC staff will advertise the vacancy and accept applications for the spot during the coming month, and candidates will be considered during the board's upcoming meeting Feb. 20.

Pedersen represented Subdistrict 2 that covers Riverton and Shoshoni in two different terms. Anyone with questions about the subdistrict boundaries should call the Fremont County Clerk's Office at 857-3682.

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