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Dr. Deep Saini appointed as Dalhousie University’s 12th President

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Halifax, NS, May 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dalhousie University’s Board of Governors announced today that Dr. Deep Saini has been appointed as the university’s 12th President and Vice-Chancellor.

Dr. Saini, who is currently Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra in Australia, was the unanimous choice of the search committee. He is an accomplished leader who combines significant Canadian post-secondary experience with a global outlook; a distinguished scientist whose belief in the transformative power of education has defined his life’s journey; and a warm, genuine and inspiring individual ready to build on Dal’s 200 years of achievement and chart a course towards even greater success in our third century ahead.

“I am honoured and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the 12th President and Vice-Chancellor of Dalhousie University,” says Dr. Saini. “The university’s singular commitment to its anchor role in the region’s economic and social development is fittingly matched to its lofty national and global aspirations — a balance that I have espoused throughout my career and will form the cornerstone of my leadership at Dal.”

“My sincere congratulations to Dr. Saini on his appointment. He joins Dalhousie at a time of tremendous momentum: record enrolment and fundraising, significant renewal of our campuses, and a strong leadership team in place across the university,” says Larry Stordy, Chair of Dalhousie’s Board of Governors. “Under Dr. Saini’s leadership, I’m certain these successes will be just the beginning of what Dalhousie’s third century has in store. The search committee was thoroughly impressed by the quality of candidates from around the world, who were interested in this opportunity. Even among this competition, however, Deep truly stood apart.”

Dr. Saini will begin his five-year term on January 1, 2020, and plans are underway for his first campus visit as President-Elect in early June. He follows Dalhousie’s 11th President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Richard Florizone, who served from 2013 until 2018, and Mr. Peter MacKinnon, presently serving in an interim capacity. With Mr. MacKinnon’s term set to conclude at the end of June, the Board of Governors will review options for interim leadership for the remainder of 2019 in the coming weeks.

Born and raised in India, Dr. Saini earned his PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Adelaide in Australia. Dr. Saini is multilingual, fluent in English, French and three South Asian languages. He has worked at four different U15 universities in Canada, beginning his academic career at the University of Alberta before becoming a leading researcher in plant biology at the Université de Montréal’s Plant Biology Research Institute. In 2006, he became Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, launching several new programs and increasing both operating and facilities funding during his term.

For most of the past decade, Dr. Saini has been either President or Principal of a major university campus, with transformative results. First, as a Vice-President at the University of Toronto and Principal of University of Toronto Mississauga, he led major internationalization efforts, oversaw a significant facilities expansion and increased faculty complement by nearly 100 professors. Then, as President of the University of Canberra he led the development and implementation of a new strategic plan which positions the school as a national leader in professional education and experiential learning, as well as in equity, diversity, inclusion and access.

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