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Chair of the Presidential Search Committee announces appointment of new president and vice-chancellor

November 20, 2019 — 

Dear members of the University of Manitoba community:

I am delighted to announce that the Board of Governors, following an extensive community consultation and search process, has approved the recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee that Dr. Michael Benarroch be appointed as the President and Vice-Chancellor to lead the University of Manitoba into the next stage of its illustrious history.

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.  He has made a significant impact as provost, overseeing academic policy, strategic planning, and the institutional budget.

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 excited to welcome Dr. Benarroch, a proud Manitoban, a recognized economist, and an experienced academic leader, back to the University of Manitoba as our 12th President and Vice-Chancellor. His academic and leadership experience and his deep love of the province and the university make him an ideal candidate to help bring about positive transformation.

Those of us who have had the privilege of working with Dr. Benarroch in his previous role as dean of the Asper School of Business know him to be a collegial and capable leader who cares deeply about the success of this University, this province and its people. He has a track record as a compelling visionary with the ability to make great things happen by connecting meaningfully with community and stakeholders. Working with Indigenous faculty, students and community members, he helped strengthen the Asper School’s Aboriginal Business Education Program so that it has recently enjoyed unparalleled success, graduating more and more diverse students than ever before.

Dr. Benarroch has expressed his commitment to play a lead role in enhancing the University of Manitoba’s impact locally and globally through innovative research and scholarship, teaching and learning, community outreach, and reconciliation.

Dr. Benarroch will take office as President and Vice-Chancellor on July 1, 2020, succeeding Dr. David T. Barnard, who completes his term on June 30, 2020, following 12 years of distinguished service as president.

I want to take this opportunity to thank David for 12 years of relationship building, visionary growth and transformation. Under his leadership, the University of Manitoba has expanded greatly in physical size and student population, and increased both the Indigenous and international student populations, achieved new heights in research accomplishments and achieved 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 would like to pay special appreciation to all members of the community who informed the work of the Presidential Search Committee through your contributions to the consultation phase of the search. Thank you also to the members of the presidential search committee for their commitment to this process and for selecting a leader who will shape the success of this institution, this province and beyond. 

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Benarroch on this appointment, and in working with him as he assumes the presidency next July.



Jeff Lieberman

Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

Chair of the UM Board of Governors



About Dr. Michael Benarroch

Dr. Benarroch is currently provost and vice-president (academic) at Ryerson University, a position he has held since 2017. In this role, he serves as Ryerson’s chief academic officer and chief operating officer, providing leadership in academic policy and programming, strategic planning and the university budget. In his time at Ryerson he has led and revamped the budget process, consulting widely as the University implemented significant budget reductions.  He co-chairs Ryerson’s Truth and Reconciliation Implementation Committee. Dr. Benarroch is committed and excited to work with the University of Manitoba and broader communities in advancing Indigenous engagement and reconciliation.

Prior to his current appointment, he served as dean of the I.H. Asper School of Business from 2011-2017. From 2008-2011, Dr. Benarroch served as the founding dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Winnipeg.

Passionate about teaching and research, Dr. Benarroch is an economist and has taught economics at Canadian universities since 1989.  His research focuses on global economic outlook, globalization, and the impact of trade on the environment. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Carleton University, his master’s from Western University, and a B.A. (Honours) from the University of Winnipeg.

Throughout his career, Dr. Benarroch has been an active leader and contributor in collegial governance at the institutions at which he has served, at the department, Faculty and University levels and believes strongly in the importance of collegiality.  He has extensive experience in working in unionized universities and has served as a member of faculty association and management bargaining teams.

Dr. Benarroch has extensive experience in community leadership and Boards. He has engaged with the boards of all three universities at which he has worked, and as Provost serves as a non-voting member of the Board. He has served on various national boards including the Certified Management Accountants, as chair of the Board of Jewish Education, chair of the Crown Corporation Council, the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council and on the Council of Economic Advisors for the Credit Union Central. He has completed the Directors Education Program training from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dr. Benarroch is a proud Manitoban who is very excited to return to Winnipeg and lead the University of Manitoba as president. He believes strongly in the importance of the University of Manitoba to this province and is keen to build and enhance connections in the community. His passion for this community and the power of higher education is readily apparent and his experiences to date in the academy, in academic leadership, and in the community will serve him, and the University well in the role of president and vice-chancellor.

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.

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