Presidential review underway at U of M

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The University of Manitoba could have a new president in 20 months.
President David Barnard’s current term ends on June 30, 2013, but he has requested that the Board of Governors conduct a review to decide whether to grant him an extension.

Jeff Leclerc, secretary to the Board of Governors and the presidential review committee, said the university has not conducted a midterm review for a president since 2002.

“It is standard procedure in all cases if a president wishes to serve beyond that term,” said Brad McKenzie, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association assessor to the board.

McKenzie said that although he represents the faculty members of the university, he has no specific goals that govern his role on the committee.
The committee will review Barnard according to several criteria including: his performance as chief executive officer, his contribution to the enhancement of the university’s stature, his promotion of academic excellence, and his performance as a spokesperson for the university to related institutions, governments and the public.

According to Leclerc, the committee contains members that represent the Board of Governors, the deans, the faculty association, UMSU and the Graduate Students’ Association.

Due to confidentially surrounding the review, UMSU president Camilla Tapp and GSA president Peter Nawrot could not comment.

Leclerc said that in order to conduct the review the committee has invited submissions from the university community through letters, advertisements, emails and a web presence.

The committee has also scheduled in-person meetings with selected individuals and will also be meeting with the president.

The committee is no longer accepting submissions as the deadline was Sept. 29.

While Leclerc did not reveal the exact number of submissions, he said “the process involved inviting a large number of individuals to contribute.”

The committee is scheduled to make a report and a recommendation to the Board of Governors by Nov. 15. Leclerc said the committee will keep meeting through October and early November, and that it is on track to report next month.

Leclerc explained that the review committee lets the community provide feedback to the board and helps it make its decision.

“From this perspective, it is most helpful,” he said.

The Nov. 15 deadline was set to allow time to search for a new president to start July 1, 2013 if necessary.