David T. Barnard, currently chief operating officer of an information technology company and formerly president and vice-chancellor of the University of Regina, has been named the 11th president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba.
The University of Manitoba Board of Governors approved Barnard’s appointment on Nov. 29 and publicly announced it on Nov. 30. The appointment is effective July 1, 2008 for a five-year term.
"When the search first began for the 11th president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba, the search committee only dreamed of finding an individual combining such impeccable attributes and qualifications," said Terry Sargeant, chair of the Board of Governors. "After a consultative and comprehensive search process, the University of Manitoba is fortunate to have found someone as ideally suited for the position as Dr. David Barnard. He will serve as an excellent champion of this institution – locally, nationally and internationally."
A respected scholar, educator and administrator, Barnard studied computer science at the University of Toronto (BSc, MSc, PhD) before joining the faculty of Queen’s University. During his time there he held a number of administrative roles (director of computing and communications services, head of computing and information science, associate vice-principal) and also studied theology at Regent College at the University of British Columbia (DipCS). He then moved to the University of Regina, first as vice-president (administration) and then as president (1998-2005) during a period of significant change and growth.
"I am delighted to be joining a post-secondary institution as respected around the world as the University of Manitoba," Barnard said.
"Institutions of higher learning, particularly research-intensive universities like the University of Manitoba, play a central and indispensable role in society and the world. I look forward to serving as president of the University of Manitoba as we build an exciting future.
"Universities have a complicated role," Barnard added. "They have a conservative role to play, in that they are charged with passing on our accumulated intellectual heritage. But at the same time we keep asking if we really know the truth; through our research we take a radical questioning attitude. Finally, we need to take what we know and make it relevant to the society around us; that’s our public service role.
"All of this makes for complex institutions."
But the joy of the university experience is that when all the varied people carrying out those diverse tasks operate together in harmony they can have a profound impact on the world, Barnard said.
Barnard serves on the Board of Greystone Managed Investments, the Provincial Court Commission of Saskatchewan (chair), the Saskatchewan Arts Board (vice-chair), the board of the Regina Regional Economic Development Authority and the board of the Canada West Foundation. He has previously served as lead director on the Board of the Bank of Canada, chair of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Information Technology and the board of SaskPower, and as a member of several other community boards.
"It is my great pleasure to welcome Dr. Barnard to the University of Manitoba," said Bill Norrie, Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. "There have been just 10 presidents in our 130-year history. The influence of those leaders, during their tenure and beyond, has had a significant impact on the university, its students and its faculty. I know Dr. Barnard will continue the University of Manitoba’s tradition of excellence and innovation."
President Emke Szathmáry will complete 12 distinguished years of service as the 10th president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba on June 30, 2008. She was happy to welcome Barnard to the province.
"Winnipeg is a great place to be and the University of Manitoba, the first university in Western Canada, is the best university to lead," Szathmáry said. She has known Barnard for ten years and said he has proven himself as an academic leader with a unique blend of the sciences and the arts.
While he comes to the University of Manitoba from an IT company, Barnard’s academic roots in theology have also been flexed with the publication of With Skilful Hand: The Story of King David in 2004.
The recommendation for the appointment of Barnard was made by a 14-member search committee chaired by Terry Sargeant. The committee included members of the Board of Governors and Senate, including academic staff, support staff, students and community members.