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Tag Archives: University of Wyoming

UPDATE: A museum without a curator? It’s worse than a church without a preacher–worse than a library without a librarian or a bar without a bartender…who is going to take care of the collections? Make sure research specimens are preserved and returned after study? Who is going to preserve the present and coordinate growth for the future…who is going to provide leadership and vision for the museum?

Certainly not the boobs and cretins who came up with THIS plan.

It would be nice to think that the University was run by thoughtful, adult professionals who understood their jobs in general and the requirements of running a museum in particular…but NO, we get that boob Buchannan–who obviously would store his wife’s jewels in the shit house, judging by the idiocy of his plan. What complete nonsense and buffoonery.

Yes, Donnie, but do you have an OPINION about this?

Reprinted from here.

UW to Use Private Funds to Reopen Geological Museum to Visitors

July 18, 2009 — UW President Tom Buchanan has directed the University of Wyoming Geological Museum to reopen on Aug. 24 on a part-time basis for public visits.

The UW Foundation has identified and offered private funding to pay for security so the Geological Museum can be open to UW visitors through the coming academic year.

“I remain fully committed to meeting UW’s budget reductions and intend to achieve savings in our state appropriation from the museum’s operations,” UW President Tom Buchanan says. “I am grateful to the Foundation for providing the resources needed to keep the doors open to the public.”

The museum closed June 30 as one of a series of steps taken to meet an $18.3 million state budget cut that took effect July 1. Buchanan says UW administrators are working hard to minimize the impact of recent budget reductions on students, faculty, staff, the community and the state of Wyoming.

“The generous assistance of Vice President Ben Blalock and the UW Foundation will allow us to respond to concerns the museum would remain closed to alumni, tourists, school children and families. Although the museum will not be open on the same basis it was before July 1, this approach meets the most pressing desires for access articulated by the public,” Buchanan says.

Buchanan has initiated steps to identify a financially sound future for the museum and will direct a campus group to develop a plan for the display collection no later than the end of the fall semester. The plan will also address the extent to which the research and display collections can mesh with UW’s broader academic mission, especially in earth and energy sciences and in science education.

For more information call Jessica Lowell, (307) 460-0604.

Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2009

Updates available here, here and here.

The Administration of the University of Wyoming have decided to close the Geological Museum due to a funding shortfall. Despite continuing to lavish millions upon millions of tax dollars on a lack-luster-to-losing Division 1-A Athletic Program, the Administration has tried to reconcile this shameful misallocation of funding as loss of Bowl and television revenue, loss of tradition and loss of long-standing inter-collegiate rivalries.

Well wah-fucking-wah.

What about the 122-year tradition of excellence at the UW Geological Museum?  What about the thousands upon thousands of primary, secondary and college students who annually come to the museum to have their curiosity nurtured, scholastic experiences enriched and their intellects stimulated?  What about the hundreds and hundreds of families who visit the museum each year who otherwise would not come to Laramie and spend money in the local economy?

In fact, revenues from athletics does not come close to compensating the residents of the State of Wyoming for the millions and millions of tax dollars in real cost these programs suck in–just look at the waste of many millions in the new stadium sky boxes as just a single example.  The details of this bait-and-switch deviousness can be found in the UW budget numbers (see for example here: and here: and the thinly disguised misinformation-as-rationale here (

If we can flush millions away on a robust, if dismally-performing, athletic program, can we not find a couple hundred thousand dollars to keep the successful and popular Museum funded?

Provost Myron Allen proposes his plans for the UW Geological Museum here (  Although a brilliant mathematician and otherwise decent guy, Dr. Allen’s proposal for closing the museum manages to be simultaneously short-sighted, amateurishly incomplete and maddeningly misleading.

In a personal e-mail, Dr. Allen assured me that Christian intolerance, religious superstitions and irrational creationist beliefs played no part in the closing of the Museum.  However, a quick survey shows that such scientific illiteracy and non-reality-based belief systems are rife among many of the the UW Trustees as well as some Members of the Wyoming State Senate and House of Representatives; perhaps this explains the lack of vociferous opposition to this obscene and perverse misallocation of University resources.

The fact that, in this day and age, in this state, so many University Trustees, Senators and Congressmen do not understand the value of a Museum, the fundamentals of science nor even subscribe to any modern notion of science, underlines emphatically and exactly why this University has an absolute ethical responsibility and urgent need to keep this museum open.

Perhaps it is not possible for non-scientists (such as the UW President and Provost) to understand the importance of science museums, but science and technology only grow though fostering early interest in young students–this is done primarily through programs like the UW Geological Museum. Every time Drs. Buchannan or Allen listen to their iPod, check their schedules on their handheld, email their colleagues or microwave popcorn to eat while watching their plasma screen Televisions, perhaps they should stop and consider the enormous debt Americans pay daily to scientists and engineers developing and refining new technology to produce new products.  Scientists and engineers who chose, and excel at, their professions precisely because as children they had access to, and were captivated by, programs such as the UW Geological Museum provides.

Or perhaps it is our job to remind Dr. Buchannan and Allen of their debt and responsibility to the future.  Below are a list of the most essential people for you to contact and express your outrage at an institution that is willing to pour millions and millions and millions of tax dollars, year after year, into losing athletic programs that produce nothing, while letting a successful, brilliant and beloved academic program, such as the UW Geological Museum, die simply to save a couple measly hundred thousand dollars.  It is clear to even the most casual observer that this is not in the best interests of the people of Wyoming, nor in the spirit of academic excellence to which UW claims to aspire, nor even in keeping with the simple recognition that these men are responsible for preserving for the future the best parts of the present at UW.

Drs. Buchannan and Allen, if allowed to carry through with this hideous misallocation of tax money, are failing miserably at all three tasks.

I am reminded of how Winston Churchill is reported to have once characterized a similar caliber decision: “Save us from the maliciously ignorant and the aggressively stupid!”


Sincerely and with hope-

Donald B. MacGowan, PhD

For MORE go here and here.

Important UW email Addresses:
President of the University of Wyoming
Tom Buchannan

Provost of the University of Wyoming
Prof. Myron Allen, Provost

Chairman, Department of Geology and Geophysics
Prof. Art Snoke

State Geologist
Dr. Ronald C. Surdam

Governor of the State of Wyoming
Governor Dave Freudenthal

Letters to the Editor:

University of Wyoming Trustees:
Jim D. Neiman

Warren A. Lauer

Dave Bostrom

Dick Davis

Betty Fear

Taylor Haynes, M.D.

David F.  Palmerlee

Bradford S. Mead

Ann Rochelle

James Trosper

Ex Officio Trustees:
Jim McBride

Kelsey Day

Elected Officials:
Members of the Wyoming House of Representatives
Representative Rodney “Pete” Anderson

Representative George Bagby

Representative Joseph M. Barbuto

Representative Rosie Berger

Representative Stan Blake

Representative Dave Bonner, Jr.

Representative Bob Brechtel

Representative Kermit C. Brown

Representative Edward A. Buchanan

Representative James W. Byrd

Representative Richard L. Cannady

Representative Seth Carson

Representative Pat Childers

Representative Roy Cohee

Representative Cathy Connolly

Representative Bernadine Craft

Representative Kathy Davison

Representative Ross Diercks

Representative Amy L. Edmonds

Representative Ken A. Esquibel

Representative Mike Gilmore

Representative Keith Gingery

Representative W. Patrick Goggles

Representative Mary Hales

Representative Timothy P. Hallinan, M.D.

Representative Debbie Hammons

Representative Steve Harshman

Representative Elaine D. Harvey

Representative Peter S. Illoway

Representative Allen M. Jaggi

Representative Peter M. Jorgensen

Representative Jack Landon, Jr.

Representative Thomas A. Lockhart

Representative Thomas E. Lubnau, II

Representative Michael K. Madden

Representative Robert M. McKim

Representative Del McOmie

Representative Erin E. Mercer

Representative Saundra Meyer

Representative David R. Miller

Representative Lori Millin

Representative Glenn Moniz

Representative John W. Patton

Representative Frank Peasley

Representative Bryan K. Pedersen

Representative Owen Petersen

Representative Frank Philp

Representative Lorraine K. Quarberg

Representative Jim Roscoe

Representative Mark A. Semlek

Representative Lisa A. Shepperson

Representative Colin M. Simpson

Representative William “Jeb” Steward

Representative Tim Stubson

Representative Matt Teeters

Representative Bill Thompson

Representative Mary Throne

Representative Sue Wallis

Representative Dan Zwonitzer

Representative David L. Zwonitzer

Members of the Wyoming State Senate
Senator Jim Anderson

Senator Eli D. Bebout

Senator Bruce Burns

Senator Cale Case, Ph.D

Senator Henry H.R. “Hank” Coe

Senator Stan Cooper

Senator Dan Dockstader
Senator Floyd A. Esquibel

Senator Gerald E. Geis

Senator John M. Hastert

Senator John J. Hines

Senator Rick Hunnicutt

Senator Kit Jennings

Senator Wayne H. Johnson

Senator Bill Landen

Senator Grant Larson

Senator Marty Martin

Senator Mike Massie

Senator Curt Meier

Senator Phil Nicholas

Senator Drew A. Perkins

Senator R. Ray Peterson

Senator Tony Ross

Senator John C. Schiffer

Senator Charles K. Scott

Senator Kathryn Sessions

Senator Charles Townsend

Senator Bill Vasey

Senator Michael Von Flatern

US Senator John Barrasso

US Senator Mike Enzi

US Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis

University of Wyoming Geological Museum: A Faltering Academic Institution's Rare Success Story Threatened by Ignorance and Far

University of Wyoming Geological Museum: A Faltering Academic Institution's Rare Success Story Threatened by Religious Intolerance, Ignorance and Fear

As an alum of UW, and a PhD recipient from the Department of Geology and Geophysics, I am naturally and profoundly disturbed at news of the closing of the Geological Museum and firing of the curator, Brent Breithaupt. The museum is one of the outstanding assets of the University and one of its most highly-recognized attributes. Internationally known and locally beloved, it is a gem–and a boon to the sciences of Geology, Paleontology and Biology; it should be prized, not closed.

In recent years as I have toured much of the Pacific Basin filming segments for my television show I have met literally hundreds of people who know UW only because of the Geological Museum, Curator Breithaupt and the paleontological collections. A University that can squander untold millions on useless athletic programs certainly can afford to continue one of its most outstanding outreach programs and most visible academic successes, especially given the comparatively marginal cost to do so.

People from all over the world know and love Brent Briethaupt and appreciate the incredible job he does…no one, NO ONE outside Wyoming remembers Fenis Dembo or any other Wyoming athlete. My father has a saying that applies directly: “Put your good where it will do the most”–and your “good” does the “most” by continuing to support and fund the UW Geological Museum and Brent Breithaupt, the curator.

To support the museum and express concern or protest, please write the following people:

Tom Buchanan
Office of the President
Dept. 3434
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071

Myron Allen
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dept. 3302
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071

Also, please sign the petition at


Donald B. MacGowan, PhD