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Recent graduates of the U of M Leaders Learning Program

Leadership program wraps up with a fun competition

Pitching ideas to senior administration is a resounding success

March 28, 2017 — 

Last month, 18 participants who represent diverse units from both campuses, completed the University of Manitoba Leaders Learning Program (UMLLP), a 10-day certification in university leadership.

On the last day of the program, participants took part in a mock competition in which they pitched proposals for new initiatives to panel members President David Barnard, Provost and  Vice-President (Academic)Janice Ristock, and Vice-President (Administration).Joanne Keselman.

Meeting once a month over the course of the program, participants formed small groups to develop a new initiative addressing one of the goals from the University’s strategic plan Taking Our Place. The purpose was to provide an opportunity for university leaders to work collaboratively with one another, and to apply the course material to a practical problem.

Panel members heard the following ideas:

  • Offer a birch bark canoe building program to engage the university community and weave in Indigenous knowledge
  • Create a U of M community connections hotline or Campus 311 to increase internal communications
  • Provide an online community for employees to connect and exchange ideas, information and resources
  • Introduce an experiential learning program for students, specifically co-op or internship programs, in faculties where this is not the norm

The fun competition included interactive presentations and a time for questions and answers. There was a lot of excitement and energy in the classroom.

“At the moment when we finished presenting, I was just so amazed!” says participant Helen Wong, assistant manager, payroll services. “The experience is so eye-opening! We learned so much.”

Participants also took part in various learning workshops throughout the 10 months of the program.

“It’s so important to invest time, effort and a willingness to build new relationships,” says another participant, Dieter Schonwetter, director, educational resources and faculty development, College of Dentistry. “This program, and working with all colleagues, will provide invaluable dividends for current and future leadership endeavours.”


The next UMLLP cohort begins in September and applications should be submitted by mid-May. Program information and forms can be found on the human resources website.

If you have any questions about the program, contact Sandra Woloschuk, associate director, learning and organizational development, human resources, 204-474-8279,

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