UofM posts midwifery instructor position but mum on program plans

The University of Manitoba is saying little about its plans to offer some kind of midwifery instruction this fall to students whose existing program is in limbo.

Start date is "as soon as possible" but midwifery program mired in confusion

Manitoba midwifery students and their supporters rally outside the provincial legislative building on June 28, after 14 students were told their second-year courses likely won't be offered in the upcoming academic year. (CBC)

The University of Manitoba is saying little about its plans to offer some kind of midwifery instruction this fall to students whose existing program is in limbo.

The university's College of Nursing has posted a job opening for a midwifery instructor to teach in the fall term of the 2016-17 academic year.

The successful candidate will "teach and instruct students in theory, laboratory and various clinical settings using best practice principles and evidence based knowledge," states the job posting, which is on the university's website.

The posting, which is dated July 28, says a "review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled." The start date is "as soon as possible."

A University of Manitoba spokesperson told CBC News in an interview that no one will comment on the midwifery posting "until after the agreements are in place."

Meanwhile, the Ontario Midwifery Education Program has had conversations with the U of M, said Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

McMaster is part of the consortium of schools participating in the Ontario Midwifery Education Program.

Hutton declined to give further details about the talks, but said the Manitoba government has been exploring options across Canada, not just in Ontario.

The status of the four-year Bachelor of Midwifery program, which was to be jointly offered by the University College of the North and the University of Manitoba, has been uncertain since its 14 students were told in June that their second-year courses likely won't be offered in the upcoming academic year.

The reasons for the program's demise have been mired in confusion, with university officials and midwives pointing to a lack of provincial government funding in the budget.

The Progressive Conservative government initially said the program was cancelled because of a lack of accreditation, then later suggested the University of Manitoba decided not to participate in the program.

With files from Christopher Read