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President David Barnard at CASE VII in Seattle.

President David T. Barnard

President Barnard recognized at international conference for his leadership and commitment

January 29, 2020 — 

At the CASE VIII conference in Seattle on Jan. 30, President Dr. David T. Barnard was recognized by his peers for his outstanding leadership and support of education.

The CASE VIII 2020 Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Barnard, who has served as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba since 2008.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is the global association for professionals in advancement—including alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services—who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society. The University of Manitoba is part of CASE District VIII, which encompasses the Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada.

“Dr. Barnard’s sustained contributions to leadership in higher education over his decades of service to universities in Canada have literally changed lives for the better,” said Jeff Lieberman chair of the UM Board of Governors. “His commitment to the development of people at the University of Manitoba and his unrelenting commitment to the transformative power of education and discovery leave a rich legacy here which will be felt for generations to come.”

Dr. Barnard has a passion for the fostering of leadership, especially within postsecondary institutions, and has been committed to encouraging and supporting leaders beginning the leadership journey. The most recent and visible evidence of this was the creation of the President’s Student Leadership Program created in 2019 as the flagship initiative of the James W. Burns Leadership Institute at the University of Manitoba to shape future leaders.

The James W. Burns Leadership Institute was established at the I.H. Asper School of Business through a visionary investment from Canada Life, IG Wealth Management, and the Power Corporation of Canada. The program focuses on recognizing and building capacity in applying different backgrounds, voices, disciplines and perspectives to solve complex leadership problems, and looks to develop future leaders and foster students’ abilities, commitment and drive to lead in their communities and eventual careers in their chosen fields.

I see myself as a representative of the many members of the UM community who are leaders – in management, in scholarship and research, in teaching, in service to our communities and in our collective effort to raise resources to achieve our aspirations. It is my honour to represent them.

The President’s Student Leadership Program provides individuals with opportunities to develop the leadership knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers in any field, from technology and trades to healthcare and fine arts. However, Dr. Barnard cautions that leadership training is only one facet of development and institutions need to provide internal support as well.

He explains: “Formal training programs are important for staff and for students, but it is also important to actively seek out those with strong leadership potential and encourage them to take advantage of leadership opportunities.”

The CASE District VIII Leadership Award recognizes a CASE VIII member institution president or head, chancellor, educational system head, or CEO for outstanding efforts to promote the understanding and support of education. Nominees must demonstrate abilities to create a vision for an institution and inspire others to accept that vision, establish a positive image for the institution, successfully lead an institution through turbulent times, increase an institution’s stature in its community and its educational service to the community, and be innovative and encourage an institution’s personnel to be innovative and take risks.

Dr. Barnard has demonstrated leadership throughout his tenure at UM, from advancing Reconciliation among postsecondary institutions as the first to offer a formal apology for its historical maltreatment of Indigenous People, to the establishment of a Sexual Violence Resource Centre to assist victims of sexual violence in navigating the reporting process across all university offices and departments.

Aside from his personal accomplishments in leadership, Dr. Barnard acknowledges that his work has been but a part of a greater whole.

He explains: “I see myself as a representative of the many members of the UM community who are leaders – in management, in scholarship and research, in teaching, in service to our communities and in our collective effort to raise resources to achieve our aspirations. It is my honour to represent them.”

Dr. Barnard holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Toronto, a diploma in theological studies from Regent College at the University of British Columbia, and an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall at York University. His research has been supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), international agencies and industry. In 2018, Dr. Barnard was invested into the Order of Manitoba and elected as a new Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

From 2014-2015, Dr. Barnard was appointed chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), now Universities Canada. He led the organization in its mandate to advocate for Canadian universities at the federal level and foster collaboration among universities and governments, the private sector, communities, and international partners to help build a better world for all.

Dr. Barnard is currently on the boards of several notable institutions, including Payments Canada, World University Services Canada, and UM Properties. Previously, he has been on the boards of the Royal Society of Canada, CentrePort Canada, CentreVenture, Canadian Scholarship Trust, Bank of Canada, and Saskatchewan Power Corporation.

In reflecting on the recognition of his career in leadership, Dr. Barnard described the nature of leadership and the qualities of good leaders themselves.

He noted: “Good leaders must have a sense of what they are trying to accomplish – a vision, the ability recognize other leaders and enlist them – sharing the vision, and a certain amount of humility to recognize one’s own shortcomings.”

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