The University of Manitoba has appointed a demonstrated bridge-builder and a committed leader in community engagement, a sought-after global economic outlook expert, and a proud Manitoban, Dr. Michael Benarroch, as its 12th president and vice-chancellor.
Raised in Winnipeg, Dr. Benarroch will take office as President and Vice-Chancellor of Western Canada's first university and Manitoba's only research-intensive university on July 1, 2020, succeeding Dr. David T. Barnard, who completes 12 years of distinguished service as president.
Dr. Benarroch is the provost and vice-president, academic at Ryerson University in Toronto, a role he has held since 2017, providing leadership as Ryerson's chief academic officer and chief operating officer. Prior to his time at Ryerson, he led the I. H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba as dean, and was founding dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Winnipeg.
"I am delighted to be able to announce today that following an extensive community consultation and search process, the Presidential Search Committee has enthusiastically recommended Dr. Michael Benarroch as the president who will lead the University of Manitoba into the next stage of its illustrious history," said Jeff Lieberman, chair of the UM Board of Governors and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. "He is known as a collegial leader with both vision and the ability to make great things happen by connecting meaningfully with community and stakeholders."
Dr. Benarroch was born in Tangier, Morocco, his family immigrating to Winnipeg when he was three years old with the expectation of greater opportunities. He was among the first generation of his family to attend university and the first to earn a graduate degree. He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Winnipeg, a MA in economics from Western University, and a PhD in economics from Carleton University.
As provost at Ryerson, Dr. Benarroch made a significant impact, overseeing academic policy, strategic planning, and the institutional budget.
At the Asper School of Business, he enhanced overall reputation and community partnerships, and, working with Indigenous faculty, students and community members, he helped strengthen the Aboriginal Business Education Program so that it has recently enjoyed unparalleled success, graduating more and more diverse students than ever before.
"I am excited about the opportunity to return to the University of Manitoba as its next president and to contribute to the success of the outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumni of the university," said Dr. Michael Benarroch. "My years at the University of Manitoba were among the most rewarding of my career. With the support of, and in collaboration with colleagues and the entire extended University of Manitoba family, I look forward to playing a lead role in building new successes in teaching, research, service, community engagement and reconciliation."
UM Chancellor Anne Mahon said: "Dr. Benarroch's wide range of experience in academic and community leadership demonstrates his ability to leverage and gain support for post-secondary education within the broader community. I look forward to working closely with him as a president who can lead the university with energy, passion and wisdom into the future."
"Having worked with Dr. Benarroch when he was dean of the Asper School of Business, I am confident he has the ability to serve the University of Manitoba well," said Dr. David Barnard. "It is an honour and a privilege to serve this university as its president. I offer Michael my congratulations and wish him and the whole UM community great success in the years ahead."
For more than 140 years, the University of Manitoba has delivered life-changing learning experiences for students, conducted world-class research and shared knowledge and discovery to shape our province, country and world.
Under the leadership of eleventh president Dr. David Barnard, UM experienced considerable growth, increasing both Indigenous and international student populations, reaching new heights in research accomplishments and achieving unprecedented success in philanthropy through the Front and Centre campaign. In 2011, Dr. Barnard made a formal Statement of Apology and Reconciliation to Indian Residential School Survivors in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the first leader of a post-secondary institution to do so, and he has provided steadfast leadership in building relationships with Indigenous students, faculty, and communities throughout his time as president.
"I want to take this opportunity to recognize Dr. Barnard's ongoing commitment to the University of Manitoba," added Jeff Lieberman. "His thoughtful leadership has set the stage for continued success and achievement for this institution and the people who bring it to life."