In a decision that rankled officials of Wyoming's extractive industries, the University of Wyoming has cleared one of its law professors of allegations that his work with environmental groups amounted to misuse of university facilities.
University president Terry Roark said that Mark
Squillace's work with Friends of the Bow, the Wyoming Outdoor
Council and the Powder River Basin Resource Council had not run
afoul of university regulations, which encourage faculty members to
spend up to, but not more than, 20 percent of their time getting
real-life experience in their field.
a timber industry official who filed a complaint against Squillace
on May 16, disagreed: "This is not the last step for me," he told
the Casper Star-Tribune. "I'm extremely upset the university is
condoning this type of (environmental) activity, which is putting
people in this state out of work." Friends of the Bow and the
Wyoming Outdoor Council have successfully opposed timber sales in
The controversy grew over the summer,
with Frank Moore, a state representative and president of the
Wyoming Wool Growers Association, asking for an expanded
investigation of Squillace's activities as well as those of his
superiors. That spurred the Wyoming Outdoor Council to jump into
the fray. In a letter to Roark, Director Tom Throop wondered, "Does
each faculty member ... strictly limit their time expended on
behalf of industry to the 20 percent maximum in university policy?"
Roark said that the university will try to clarify its rules on
Meanwhile, a weary Squillace pointed
out that what has been obscured throughout the controversy is that
he has continued to do his job. He was awarded the law school's
Winston S. Howard chair two years ago on the basis of his teaching
Squillace added that the
controversy won't lessen his involvement in the environmental
issues he's worked on since arriving at the university in 1984.
"This (opposition) has been a long-term ongoing kind of problem for
me and for the law school," he said. "Last summer Reedy organized a
demonstration of the children of loggers outside the law school:
kids carrying signs. Industry has shown an ability to put pressure
on people in situations like me to force them to stop what they're
doing. And the university's under an enormous amount of political
pressure to act cautiously and not sound too supportive of me
because there could be ramifications in terms of funding."
* Lisa Jones, HCN project