University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

New assistant deans named at School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Joshua Wynne, UND vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences has appointed three new assistant deans to the leadership team at the school.

• Thomas M. Hill, director of the Office of Medical Education, will continue in that role, but also will assume additional part-time responsibilities as assistant dean for preclinical education. His responsibilities will include oversight of the medical student curriculum for the first two years, and he will also work with Charles Christianson, the associate dean for clinical education, to enhance and better integrate clinical and basic science learning across all four years of medical school. Of particular importance will be Hill’s efforts to update and revamp the patient-centered learning (PCL) curriculum, and to support and lead innovation in medical education.

• Patrick A. Carr, associate professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, will be the new assistant dean for faculty development. His responsibilities include working with department chairs to enhance faculty development opportunities, developing communities of faculty for informal development and collaboration, and developing a mentoring program for faculty. Carr’s faculty development activities will apply across the spectrum of disciplines at the SMHS, including basic science, clinical science and health science faculty members.

• Kenneth G. Ruit, is the new assistant dean for undergraduate and graduate education. Although Ruit will continue as the vice chair of Anatomy and Cell Biology, he also will assume additional responsibilities, including oversight of curricular development to address the foundational basic science learning of all graduate students, recruitment of graduate students, and oversight of student progress and mentoring. Ruit’s responsibilities for undergraduate education include oversight and support of all basic science undergraduate courses.

“While the positions are new, the faculty members who are assuming the positions are old hands at UND and bring a wealth of experience to the positions,” said Wynne. “The new assistant deans will help streamline operations and enable faster, more effective decisions to be made within the school.”

Gwen Halaas, senior associate dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the SMHS, selected the candidates after an internal search conducted by a three-member search committee, consisting of Tom Mohr, professor and chair of Physical Therapy; Jonathan Geiger, professor and chair of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics; and Stephen Tinguely, professor and chair of Pediatrics.

All of the positions will report to Halaas. The new positions, which are all part-time positions, were only offered to current full-time faculty members and were created in a budget-neutral manner by using funds that were freed when Dean Wynne relinquished his former position of vice dean.

“I was very pleased with the faculty interest in these positions and the effort and quality of the committee process,” said Halaas. “I am very excited to get this new team started and engaged with our faculty to enhance our efforts to provide the best education to our students.”

-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777-2733,

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