Q & A with Dr. Brian Postl on impact of Rady Family Foundation gift
Dr. Brian Postl, dean, Max Rady College of Medicine, dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences & vice-provost (Health Sciences), spoke on what the Rady Family Foundation’s gift means for the University of Manitoba.
What is the significance of Ernest and Evelyn Rady’s $30 million gift to the University of Manitoba?
First, it puts our faculty – now the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences – on the map with other large faculties in the country that have been able to attract large external donors. This is the third largest donation [to a university faculty] in the country and I think we’ll be recognized for that! Then of course it is a source of funding moving forward and it appears we have flexibility in how we can spend these dollars and we have lots of needs. Some of these are capital, some of them are student supports like for graduate students, supporting research, or the B.Sc.(Med) program. We have lots of potential needs that this incredibly generous gift will help fill.
How did you feel on May 12, the day of the announcement?
I always enjoy the [College of Medicine convocation] graduation ceremony and I always find it moving as a next step in so many young lives that is important and this gave it an added level of excitement and commitment. Ernest Rady’s own reflections on his young adulthood, on his father’s medical education here at U of M and career as a physician, and the impact of his family values added to the ceremony – and I think made us all feel proud and honoured to be part of it.
What’s the impact for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences as a whole?
I think it does increase the stature of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences for starters. The intent is that the money will be used for faculty-wide purposes and some of it will be within colleges where those needs are identified and some will be for faculty-wide initiatives and thematic areas that are key strategic priorities. For example, inter-professional education or inter-professional collaboration are areas that needs more development here -and in every other part of the country – and may attract some interest on how we expend the funds.
How will the gift impact the strategic areas of importance identified through the University of Manitoba Front and Centre campaign?
Well certainly graduate student support, research excellence, outstanding student experience, places and spaces… I think it could conceivably help cover all of the areas within the five strategic themes to achieve the University of Manitoba’s goals and objectives of the Front and Centre campaign.
What will be some of the first things that we will see supported?
I think student support and inter-professional education are two areas that we will be able to support pretty quickly thanks to this donation.
What has been the reaction among faculty, staff, students so far?
It’s been great! It was a big day on May 12 for the graduates of the Max Rady College of Medicine and for everyone who is part of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. I really noticed the enthusiasm of the students from across all colleges –it was both genuine and very positive. They all recognized it was a very big deal and that this gift has brought significant recognition to the U of M, to the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and to the Max Rady College of Medicine.