For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

From the Dean: The 2022-23 budget is in!

Happy first day of the new academic year! And Happy Fourth of July weekend!

Yesterday marked the end of the 2022 academic (and fiscal) year (AY) for UND and the SMHS. The school’s budget for AY23 has been approved by President Armacost and the North Dakota University System (NDUS), and has been successfully uploaded into the NDUS’s computer system on time and in good order. The accounting and operations folks always breathe a sigh of relief when the all the entries get uploaded without glitches. So, well-done all!

Along with the excitement of the new academic year (and the arrival of not only the first-year medical student class of 2026 bright and early next Tuesday, July 5, but our new medical residents and fellows at programs across the state), the close of AY22 brought some mixed emotions, especially with the retirement of two senior and eminent faculty members.

This past Wednesday, June 29, 2022, there was a reception in honor of Dr. Mark Koponen, teaching associate professor in the Department of Pathology and SMHS Education Resources. Mark is a proud UND graduate and completed his pathology training at the University of New Mexico and Emory University. After working for over a decade in the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Atlanta, Ga., he returned to UND in 2009. He was an important part of our forensic pathology program, and also was a major contributor to our teaching program, especially with the recent advent of our new medical curriculum. His efforts were greatly appreciated by the students (as well as by me and other faculty and staff members!). Mark, many thanks again, and best wishes for the future.

This reception was followed yesterday by a retirement celebration in honor of recently named Professor of Physical Therapy Emerita, Dr. Sue Jeno, who has been a faculty member with the School for almost 30 years! UND President Andy Armacost recently notified Dr. Jeno of this honorific recognition (Professor Emerita) following the nomination by her department with the concurrence and support from the SMHS. If her many teaching contributions were not enough, Dr. Jeno also functioned as the Faculty Athletic Representative to the UND Department of Athletics since 2006. Her efforts on behalf of PT students and our student athletes were widely recognized and lauded. Sue, thanks again for all that you have done for the University, the SMHS, UND Athletics, and the Department of Physical Therapy. Best wishes going forward!

The same of course goes for Dr. Jim Roerig, professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, who was part of a virtual retirement event yesterday, and Deb West, administrative assistant and educational support specialist at our Southwest Campus. Based in Fargo and Bismarck, respectively, both of these members of the extended SMHS family will be missed and testify to the value-add of the SMHS as an institution for communities across the state.

At the UND level, you may be aware that Jed Shivers, UND vice president for finance and operations/chief operating officer, will be leaving the university as of July 15 to take on a similar role at Stony Brook University on Long Island, N.Y. I have greatly enjoyed working with Jed over the past four years, and marvel at his innumerable and substantive contributions to UND. My professional relationship with Jed actually antedated his appointment here, since I chaired the search committee that was formed to identify the successor vice president following the retirement of Alice Brekke who had been with the university for nearly 40 years. As a result of the search process, it was clear that Jed was the right choice – and that sure has turned out to be the case! So best wishes to Jed as well, and thank you again for helping to make UND an even better place!

Let me end by saying that personnel turnover like this is part of the life of any organization and actually allows the University (and School) to rejuvenate, grow, and strengthen over time – just as it allows these wonderful former faculty and staff members to grow in the next phases of their lives as well. Best wishes again to all!

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