Michael Benarroch

  • Michael Benarroch became President of the University of Manitoba on July 1, 2020.

    Dr. Benarroch is a Manitoban and former Dean of the I.H. Asper School of Business (2011-2017). He returns to Winnipeg where he maintains strong community-wide connections and a lifelong dedication to transformative higher education.

    His career includes serving as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at Toronto Metropolitan University (2017-2020), acting as the institution’s chief academic and operating officer as well as a tenured professor in the department of Economics, Faculty of Arts. He co-chaired Toronto Metropolitan University's Truth and Reconciliation Implementation Committee and is an active advocate for the advancement of Indigenous engagement and reconciliation.

  • An image of Michael Benarroch smiling.

More about Michael Benarroch

As Dean of the I.H. Asper School of Business, Dr. Benarroch oversaw a five-year plan designed to put the Asper School at the heart of the province’s business and start-up community. Its focus was to advance the quality of research and create an exceptional student experience. During his tenure, the Asper School incorporated experiential learning opportunities across all programs, grew international opportunities for students and faculty, improved access for Indigenous students and enhanced its world-class graduate programs.

During his 21-year-career with the University of Winnipeg, he was chair of the department of Economics (1999-2007) and acting chair of the department of Business and Administration (2007). After leading the creation of the University’s Faculty of Business and Economics, he became its founding Dean (2008-2011). He was awarded the Robin H. Farquhar Award of Excellence in Contributing to University Governance.

Dr. Benarroch holds a BA (Honours) in Economics from the University of Winnipeg, a master’s in Economics from Western University and a PhD in Economics from Carleton University. A passionate teacher and researcher, he has taught economics at Canadian universities since 1989. He has a special interest in global economic outlook, the impact of trade on the environment and government economic policy.

Dr. Benarroch has engaged with the boards of all three universities at which he has worked and has been an active leader in collegial governance. He has extensive experience working in unionized universities and has served both as a member of faculty association and the management bargaining teams.

His extensive community service and board experience includes the Premier of Manitoba’s Economic Advisory Council, the Certified Management Accountants of Canada, and the Council of Economic Advisors for the Credit Union Central. He held a two-year term as chair of Manitoba’s Crown Corporation Council and was chair of the Board of Jewish Education. Dr. Benarroch was presented the Shem Tov Award for service to the community by the Jewish Foundation of Winnipeg (2009) and the Honorary Certified General Accountant Award for volunteer service as public representative (non-accountant) from the CGA Manitoba Board of Governors (2010).

Role of the President

The President:

  • Exercises general supervision over and direction of the operation of the University including its academic work, staff, students and business affairs
  • Has access to all records of the University
  • Recommends to the Board the appointment, promotion, tenure, change of service, discipline, retirement and dismissal of staff
  • Is a member ex officio of every committee of the Board
  • Is a member ex officio of the council of every faculty, school and department of the University, of every committee of the Senate, and of each faculty and school
  • Has the right to call and preside at any meeting of the council of every faculty, school and department
  • Deals appropriately with every complaint pertaining to the University lodged with the President
  • Prepares an annual budget for the University and submit the budget to the Board
  • Recommends to the Board or to the Senate, or to both, any undertaking the President considers advantageous to the University
  • Reports in writing to the Board at the end of each academic year on the status and needs of the University
  • Has such other powers, duties and functions as may be assigned by the Board

Priorities and initiatives

Community engagement

Key presentations and reports

Flag etiquette

The University of Manitoba lowers the Canadian Flag on the Administration Building in the event of the death of members of the University community and under other circumstances in accordance with University policy and protocols established by the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba.

Revised Policy and new Procedure approved by the Board of Governors on January 27, 2015.
Policy and Procedure reformatted January 23, 2017.

These documents are available in alternate formats, upon request.  Please contact Sandi Utsunomiya at Sandi.Utsunomiya@umanitoba.ca or at 204-474-8174.

Past Presidents

Past Presidents, from 1913 to 2020

James Alexander MacLean

1913 - 1934, First President

Dr. MacLean was a native of southern Ontario. Educated at the University of Toronto and Columbia University, he spent his early academic career in the U.S., first at Colorado University and then as president of the University of Idaho. As president from 1913-1934, Dr. MacLean oversaw the university's first period of expansion.

Sidney Earle Smith

1934 - 1944, Second President

Professor Smith was educated at King's College and Dalhousie, and, after teaching several years at Osgoode Hall, returned to Dalhousie as dean of its law school. After ten years as president of the University of Manitoba, he left Manitoba for the University of Toronto where he became president in 1945. He later became Minister of External Affairs in the first Diefenbaker government.

Henry Percy Armes

1944 - 1945, Acting/Third President

Dr. Armes was born in Nottingham, England and attended Leeds University. He came to the University of Manitoba in 1909 as senior demonstrator in the Department of Chemistry. He was appointed the Head of the Chemistry Department in 1937 and in 1939 he was chosen dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. Except for his years of overseas service in World War I, Dr. Armes maintained a continuous association with the University until his retirement in 1949.

Albert William Trueman

1945 - 1948, Fourth President

Dr. Trueman was educated at Mount Allison and Oxford. After leaving the University of Manitoba in 1948, he became president at the University of New Brunswick. He also had a distinguished career as a cultural administrator, first as head of the National Film Board and then as the first director of the Canada Council.

Albert Henry S. Gillson

1948 - 1954, Fifth President

Dr. Gillson was a Cambridge graduate, a mathematician, and an art lover. Before moving to Manitoba, he spent many years at McGill University as the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He was an enthusiastic supporter of research and established the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Dr. Gillson's appreciation of fine printing influenced the university to acquire the Dysart Memorial Collection of books and manuscripts.

Hugh Hamilton Saunderson

1954 - 1970, Sixth President

Dr. Saunderson received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Manitoba. He received his Ph.D. from McGill University. His formal association with the university began in 1932 with an appointment as lecturer in the Chemistry Department. In 1945 he became dean of Arts and Science. During his years as president, student enrollment rose from 4000 in 1954 to 13,000 by 1970. Physical expansion including several new buildings was a mark of his term.

Ernest Sirluck

1970 - 1976, Seventh President

A native of Winkler, Manitoba, Dr. Sirluck graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1940. After serving overseas with the Canadian army, he obtained his M.A. and PhD. from the University of Toronto. A respected Milton scholar, he taught at the University of Chicago and was vice-president of the University of Toronto before becoming president of the University of Manitoba in 1970.

Ralph Campbell

1976 - 1981, Eighth President

A native of southern Ontario, Dr. Campbell studied at the University of Toronto and at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in agricultural economics. Prior to his appointment as president, he was principal of Scarborough College, University of Toronto. He was also very active in international development, serving as an economic advisor to governments in Jordan and Kenya.

Arnold Naimark

1981 - 1996, Ninth President

A native of Winnipeg, Dr. Naimark received his MD from the University of Manitoba and served as head of the Department of Physiology, and later as dean of the Faculty of Medicine before becoming president. He has also had a distinguished career in public service as the chair of groups such as Winnipeg's North Portage Development Corporation and the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee. Currently he is Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and President Emeritus.

Emőke J. E. Szathmáry

1996 – 2008, Tenth President

Dr. Szathmáry received her B.A. and PhD from the University of Toronto. After one year at Trent University as assistant professor in Anthropology she joined McMaster University. Her administrative posts included department chair at McMaster, dean of Social Science at the University of Western Ontario, and provost and vice-president (academic) at McMaster. While president, Dr. Szathmáry continued her research on the genetics of indigenous peoples of North America. She also served as director of several provincial, national and international volunteer and corporate boards. During her term, aboriginal and international student enrolment increased significantly, a dozen new facilities were built, sponsored research income tripled, and the university’s research and technology park was established. She was appointed President Emeritus and continues her appointments in anthropology, biochemistry and medical genetics.

David T. Barnard

2008 - 2020, Eleventh President

Dr. Barnard received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD degrees in computer science from the University of Toronto, a Dip.C.S. in theological studies from Regent College, University of British Columbia and a LL.M. from Osgoode Hall, York University. 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.

Contact us

Office of the President
Room 202 Administration Building
66 Chancellors Circle

University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada