EDITOR'S NOTE: Following is Part 2 of a long Q&A with Joshua Wynne, UND's interim president, published in Sunday's print edition of the Herald. Today, the Herald is publishing the piece online but in smaller pieces:
Q: These first few weeks, what’s it been like for you? Is it what you expected it would be?
WYNNE: Busy, yes, and fascinating. It’s been a busy time. I knew it would be. One of the ways we are going to free up some of my time is free up some of my clinical experience. But I couldn’t do that on short notice ... because I had patients scheduled and so forth. But the last four weeks have been especially busy, also because I had other calendered events that didn’t anticipate this. So for those two reasons, it has been exceedingly busy. But I expected that. I planned for it.
One of the reasons I thought it would be feasible to do both (the presidency along with other duties) is because we have established teams in both places. This is my 10th year of being dean … so I have had a chance to select my entire senior leadership team at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. We have worked together for many years. It is a cohesive unit that works well, so I have been able to transfer some more responsibilities to them, partly because they are so tried and true. Same thing is true in the president’s office; although I obviously didn’t select the vice presidents, we have worked together for a while, so that has helped.
It’s what I expected and I think the thing that has been most interesting to me is that so far, it has sustained one of the reasons I had for accepting the nomination to be interim president, which is for new challenges and the ability to learn.
It’s exciting to see in greater depth some of the issues that affect the rest of the campus.
I just had a conversation about student housing. That wasn’t something that was at the top of my list (previously). … So for me, that has been very illuminating to learn more and to try to help address issues that I haven’t been struggling with the last decade or more.