For Your Health
For Your Health

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

From the Dean: From budget season to Commencement

Congratulations – and thanks! – to our physician colleagues in celebration of National Doctors’ Day that took place this past Saturday, March 30. All of us are grateful for the dedicated, caring, thoughtful care that physicians and the entire cadre of other healthcare professionals provide to all of us. I’m reminded of the days during the pandemic when many folks literally applauded and overtly expressed their gratitude to their local providers as they walked by – but it shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to say thanks. So, thank you all!

Yesterday was the symbolic start of the budgetary process that will intensify during the upcoming North Dakota Legislative Assembly and culminate in the passage of the bill a little over a year from now that will provide state-allocated funding to the School for the next two years. Governor Burgum has been/is meeting with leadership from each of the campuses of the North Dakota University System yesterday and today. Both UND (President Armacost) and the SMHS (me) presented our strategic vision for both institutions; the two meetings seemed to go well. Engaging the Governor and the members of the state legislature is essential, as state funding accounts for over a third of the School’s revenue. Since our projected biennial budget for 2025-27 will exceed a quarter of a billion dollars, it will be vitally important to continue to stress the importance of the efforts of the School in education, discovery, and service to the people of North Dakota as we solidify the already strong support we are fortunate enough to receive.

Just as activity on the budgetary and legislative fronts is heating up, things are winding down on the educational front. We are approaching the end of this semester and the upcoming graduation in May of our seniors. Here’s a “heads-up” for a few of the events that will take place:

  • Friday, May 3 (evening) – Medical Student Awards Banquet
  • Saturday, May 4 (afternoon) – Medical Student Commencement Ceremony
  • Friday, May 10 (afternoon) – Master of Public Health Graduation Reception
  • Friday, May 10 (afternoon) – Master of Physician Assistant Studies Hooding Ceremony
  • Friday, May 10 (afternoon) – Occupational Therapy Doctorate Hooding Ceremony
  • Friday, May 10 (evening) – Doctor of Physical Therapy Hooding Ceremony
  • Saturday, May 11 (morning) – Medical Laboratory Science Open House for graduating seniors
  • Saturday, May 11 (morning and afternoon) – UND graduate and undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies

It promises to be an exciting two weeks!

Finally, we just received some of the initial findings of the salary study that UND commissioned through Huron Consulting. I know that many of you, especially our faculty and staff, have been waiting patiently for the results of this effort, and I think that we will have more to share with you by the end of this month as we work through the data. Until we get the analysis completed, it would be premature to say anything more now. I do want to assure you, though, that we have been hard at work on our analysis since we received the initial findings earlier this week.

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