The University recently adopted Taking Our Place: University of Manitoba Strategic Plan 2015-2020 (the "Plan"). Figuring prominently throughout the Plan are concepts such as "respect", "integrity" and "equity and inclusion". Although these are described as core values of the institution, they are also not somethign that we can take for granted. The University will be most successful if it can create a strong sense of community and common purpose, and it can only do so where we treat each other with respect.
In order to help implement these aspects of the Strategic Plan, I have created the President's Advisory Committee on Respect. Co-chaired by the Vice-Provost (Students) and the Associate Vice-President (Human Resources), the committee is tasked with helping develop a plan to achieve our stated goals, and to provide support to new and existing initiatives. Their work will touch on issues of inclusion, diversity, accommodation, human rights, civility, and collegiality. The committee's membership is drawn from diverse backgrounds, and represents the inter-connected University community of faculty, staff and students.
It is of critical importance that the entire University community be engaged in this process. Through the committee's work, opportunities will be made available for faculty, staff, unions, students, student groups and others to provide input into how our institution can improve its work and learning environment. Moreover, the committee will be seeking volunteers to work on various sub-committees and specific projects.
I am deeply proud of the faculty, staff and students of the University of Manitoba, but I know we have room to improve upon how we treat each other. While I sincerely hope that it does not reflect the experience of the majority of our community, I am aware of situations of incivility, bullying, exclusion, intolerance, discrimination and even racism. Yet, through the development of the Strategic Plan, I heard a desire to create an institution with a sense of community, a sense of shared purpose, and where our people enjoy and are motivated in their work and studies. I am confident that it is these strong voices which will lead the University to a successful future.
- Dr. David Barnard
President, University of Manitoba