U of M announces president and vice-chancellor leaving summer of 2020
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/02/2019 (1574 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
David Barnard was known as a poetry-quoting computing executive when he came to lead the University of Manitoba in 2008. He’ll go out next year in the wake of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against professors and high-profile resignations by Indigenous academics.
The Winnipeg school has announced Barnard’s run as president and vice-chancellor will come to an end June 30, 2020. Its board of governors has established a search committee for a new president and hired executive search firm Perrett Laver.
While the work of the search committee has been behind closed doors in the past — with it recommending only a single candidate to the board and not saying who was on the short list — the University of Manitoba Faculty Association is pushing for those doors to be opened at least a crack this time around.
Association president Janet Morrill said the board of governors has already turned down a proposal by the institution’s senate to have an open search for the next president and have short-listed candidates make a public presentation of their vision.
The latest proposal from the senate (made up mostly of representatives elected by faculties and students) is to have each of the short-listed candidates speak and be questioned at a closed session, with senators passing their opinions on to the hiring committee.
“This is a public institution, and it is a privilege to lead the university,” Morrill said Tuesday. “We think the good for the institution outweighs the unpleasantness (of questioning) to the candidates.”
The board of governors has not yet made a decision on the proposal.
An email to community leaders from Jeff Lieberman, chairman of both the board and the search committee — sent Tuesday with the subject line “University of Manitoba presidential search: invitation to share your views” — says the committee is looking for assistance on two questions: the key opportunities and challenges faced by the U of M, and the key qualities and characteristics hoped for in its next president.
“One of the first tasks of the search committee is to assess the university’s leadership requirements for the next stage of its development,” Lieberman said. “As a friend of the University of Manitoba, you appreciate the university’s strengths, its distinctiveness and its position as one of Canada’s leading research-intensive and teaching institutions. As Manitoba’s largest and most comprehensive university, we celebrate our top-ranked professional schools, our outstanding faculty and staff, and the diversity of our very able students.
“We would be grateful if you would provide your views for the benefit of the committee.”
Lieberman and a spokesperson for the university were not available for comment Tuesday.
Morrill said the faculty association does appreciate how far afield the search committee is surveying the views from people about what they believe is the leadership requirements for the university. She said she has been contacted by the search committee. Free Press editor Paul Samyn also received the email.
“We welcome that,” she said. “They are doing a very wide consultation.
“The problem is this part of the process is very open and consultative, but the process becomes closed at the point they are getting the candidates… there’s a lot we won’t see, and a lot of input the community could provide.”
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.