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Joshua Wynne, dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was named interim president of the university on Thursday, May 30. (Photo courtesy of UND Today)

Wynne takes UND's interim president job sans additional pay

GRAND FORKS — The contract for University of North Dakota interim president Joshua Wynne has been finalized and includes no extra money for Wynne’s presidential duties.

Wynne, who is vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, is already the state’s top paid public employee, making around $695,000 a year. Wynne began his presidential duties on Monday, June 17, as former President Mark Kennedy departed for a job as president of the University of Colorado System.

North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott said Wynne, who is doing more work, did not ask for any additional money.

“He just felt it was best to leave it as it was,” Hagerott said. “He’s been at UND for a long time. He cares about the institution, and I think he really just wants to help the university transition through this period in time.”

Wynne previously said he was not interested in the interim position simply for a pay raise.

“I’m not doing this job for the money,” Wynne said. “I didn’t take this job to just have a nice fancy title and sit in a nice office and not have anything happen; that’s not me. My focus is on keeping the momentum going forward … and that there will be real accomplishments in moving the agenda forward for however long that takes.”

Wynne’s contract specifies the agreement will automatically terminate on June 30, 2020, or whenever a full-time president is appointed. The contract also notes that Wynne will maintain his existing academic and administrative appointments and that he will continue those after he finishes being interim president.

Former Gov. Ed Schafer earned a president’s salary at $33,216 a month as interim president at UND from January 15 to June 30, 2016. That contract also included sick leave, retirement plan contributions and other benefits.

Hagerott said the interim contracts can vary depending on the university.

“It probably depends on the individual if they negotiate something, but Dr. Wynne is doing it to help out the university, which is really commendable,” he said.