From the Dean: Announcing new assistant deans

In past columns I’ve commented on the challenges presented by the pandemic, of course, and also the hard work that is ongoing to prepare for several upcoming accreditation visits of various educational programs at the UND SMHS.

An additional heavy lift has been the extraordinary efforts by faculty, staff, and students related to the major curricular changes that are being implemented in our medical education program. But what may not be apparent is how the three challenges – pandemic, accreditation preparations, and curricular enhancements – were dealt with simultaneously by several key faculty members in the medical education program. As I thought about their amazing efforts, two things became apparent: we should recognize these faculty members who in particular have gone “above and beyond” the call of duty, and at the same time more formally solicit and integrate their insights into the strategic planning process of the School going forward.

Accordingly, I’m delighted to announce that the following four faculty members will be joining the senior leadership team at the School by virtue of their appointments as assistant deans in each of their areas of effort and expertise. Please join me in congratulating:

  • Jane Dunlevy, Assistant Dean for Phase 1
  • Susan Zelewski, Assistant Dean for Phase 2/3
  • Minnie Kalyanasundaram, Assistant Dean for Academic Support and Longitudinal Integration
  • Kurt Borg, Assistant Dean for Assessment

(Note that “Phases 1, 2, and 3” refer to the sequential stages in the new medical student curriculum.)

All four new assistant deans will continue their administrative, educational, and scholarly efforts as before, but now will be part of the official administrative structure of the School. As such, I plan to incorporate them into the periodic meetings I have with the senior leadership team at the School in a manner akin to what is done at the university level. As a vice president at UND, I and the other VPs meet weekly with President Armacost and then monthly with a larger extended group of senior management individuals from across campus. I plan to do the equivalent thing here at the SMHS and involve all assistant deans (including the four new deans), associate deans, and the senior associate dean in a (likely) monthly meeting with me. That way we can coalesce the experiences, insights, and thoughts of a larger cohort of deans to help further define, refine, and optimize our operations and strategic planning for the future.

I’m very pleased that all four have accepted the deanship offers and are now official members of our senior management team. Please join me in congratulating and thanking them for their wonderful contributions – past, present, and future!

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
Vice President for Health Affairs, UND
Dean, UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences