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University of Canberra appoints next Vice-Chancellor

9 March 2016: Education visionary, noted scholar and innovative leader, Professor H. Deep Saini, has been appointed the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra.

Professor Saini, currently a Vice-President of the University of Toronto, Canada's top-ranked, largest and most research-intensive university, and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, will take up the position on 1 September 2016.

He will succeed Professor Stephen Parker AO, who will step down from the role on 1 July 2016, after over nine years in the job. The University Council will appoint an acting Vice-Chancellor until Professor Saini commences his appointment.

Chancellor and chair of the University Council, Professor Tom Calma AO, said the University's governing body is delighted the internationally experienced university leader and academic has agreed to become the University of Canberra's sixth Vice-Chancellor.

"Professor Saini's outstanding academic pedigree and vast international experience will be key to delivering on our vision to be recognised as one of Australia's most innovative tertiary institutions; world-ranked, with regional, national and international reach," Professor Calma said.

"His extensive administrative leadership and proven track record as an accomplished agent of positive change under diverse circumstances will help us realise our mission of an 'Educated Life', as well as our ambitious campus development objectives."

Professor Calma also paid tribute to the University's current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Parker for his exceptional leadership and remarkable contribution to the growth and development of the University of Canberra and to Australian tertiary education in general.

"I would like to sincerely thank Professor Parker for his tireless dedication, passionate guidance, and relentless determination to make this one of the best young universities in Australia.

"His legacy has set solid foundations to now take the University to the next stage of growth and competitiveness," he said.

"This will be an exciting period for the University of Canberra and I look forward to working with Professor Saini towards this new phase."

Professor Parker said he was very pleased to learn about this appointment.

"Professor Saini comes from a very senior position in a truly world-leading university and will be great for the University of Canberra. He will have my full support as I hand over the many exciting projects that the University is undertaking."

Professor Saini, a notable plant physiologist, said he was thrilled to be appointed the University's Vice-Chancellor at such a fantastic time for the institution.

"The University of Canberra is on an audacious academic path. It has remarkably enterprising, distinctive and bold plans, which are already producing impressive results," he said.

"I am both humbled and honoured to have the opportunity to lead an institution with so much grit and promise at such a critical juncture in its evolution. I look forward to the next phase of the University of Canberra's transformation as a global leader in mission-oriented education and problem-solving research with a solid intellectual core."

Professor Saini added he is very pleased to return to Australia, where he spent some time both as a student and an academic.

"Much of what I am today was shaped during my doctoral studies in Australia. My wife and I started our shared journey here. It is a privilege to now return to serve the country where it all began and to which I owe the crucial formative steps of an exceptionally rewarding career."

Contact the University of Canberra media team:

Claudia Doman: 0408 826 362
Matthew Hogan: 0409 140 415