Michael Benarroch

  • Michael Benarroch returned to Winnipeg to assume his role as President of the University of Manitoba on July 1, 2020.

    Throughout his career spanning over three decades, Dr. Benarroch has demonstrated his lifelong dedication to transformative higher education and has made significant contributions to the fields of economics, research, and post-secondary education administration.

    Dr. Benarroch served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at Toronto Metropolitan University from 2017 to 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 served as the Dean of the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba from 2011 to 2017 and enjoyed a 21-year-career with the University of Winnipeg, where he was chair of the department of Economics (1999 - 2007) and served as the university’s Faculty of Business and Economics founding dean from 2008 to 2011.

  • President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Michael Benarroch.

More about Michael Benarroch

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, serving both as a member of faculty association and the management bargaining teams.

As President of the University of Manitoba, Dr. Benarroch has focused on guiding the institution towards achieving milestones in equity, diversity, inclusion, along with advancing Reconciliation and Indigenous success. In 2022, UM established an Executive Lead (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) to provide overall leadership and direction in addressing systemic inequities and biases at the university. Dr. Benarroch is also a strong advocate for reducing the university’s carbon footprint and being a sustainability leader through initiatives such as the UM’s Climate Action Plan, which will help guide the institution through changes and collaborative action on energy use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Benarroch emphasises the importance of student success, interdisciplinary collaboration, and strengthening partnerships with external stakeholders through various initiatives that not only nurture a vibrant academic environment, but also help to advance research, and prepare graduates for the evolving needs of the province’s workforce. He is a strong proponent of entrepreneurship and experimental learning, fostering innovation and encouraging big ideas among students and faculty. In the fall of 2022, he launched "What's the big idea?", a podcast featuring an exciting and diverse array of voices from the UM community contributing to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the people of Manitoba, Canada, and the world.

Dr. Benarroch’s 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. In 2022, he served as a member of the Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council and currently co-chairs the Post-Secondary Presidents’ Council of Manitoba. 

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

Community engagement

President's 2023-24 Priorities

The President’s board approved priorities for the 2023-24 academic year offer strategic vision and direction, motivate our community to pursue big ideas, and pursue advocacy, partnerships, and external initiatives.

  • icon communication

    Continue to lead and demonstrate transparency and open communication, collaboration, and respectful dialogue within our community, to further advance on the university’s commitment to building trust and enhanced relationships with internal and external university stakeholders.

  • icon community

    Enhance UM’s strategic positioning and leverage the university’s role as a community leader, expanding our presence in Winnipeg and throughout the province by building and fostering ongoing mutually beneficial relations with partners, donors, alumni, and a variety of external stakeholders.

  • icon process

    Provide oversight in the management of UM’s longer-term financial sustainability, ensuring the effective stewardship of university resources through new and continuing initiatives, including the implementation of recommendations stemming from the budget-model review and the implementation of a risk mitigation strategy.

University initiatives

President's staff team

  • Kerry McQuarrie Smith
    Executive Director 

  • Kelsey Evans
    Associate Director

  • Holly Campbell
    Executive Assistant, Correspondence & Budget

  • Carleigh Collier
    Executive Assistant, Scheduling & Events

  • Jacqueline (Jax) Hayward
    Confidential Assistant

  • General inquiries
    Please complete the online form

Flag etiquette

The Office of the President is responsible for the implementation, administration, and review of the University of Manitoba's Flag Etiquette Policy and Flag Etiquette Procedure. This includes reviewing all requests to lower the Canadian Flag atop the Administration Building on the Fort Garry Campus to half-mast.

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