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UC welcomes new Vice-Chancellor

Claudia Doman

1 September 2016: Professor Deep Saini took his post as the fifth Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra today.

He succeeds Professor Stephen Parker AO, who stepped down on 1 July, after nine years in the role.

Professor Saini was previously the Principal of University of Toronto Mississauga and a Vice-President of the University of Toronto's three campus system. During his tenure, he oversaw major enrolment growth, program expansion and several multi-million dollar construction projects on the campus.

Under his guidance, University of Toronto Mississauga launched its most ambitious fundraising campaign to date – the Boundless Campaign for the University of Toronto Mississauga. With its $60 million goal, the campaign established the Institute for Management and Innovation, a new sector-specific model of business school, and the Centre for South Asian Civilizations.

Professor Saini, a distinguished plant physiologist, said he was honoured to become the University's Vice-Chancellor at such an exciting time for the young institution.

"The University of Canberra is an up-and-coming university with enterprising, distinctive and bold plans, which are already producing impressive results," he said.  

"It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead such a promising institution at a fascinating stage in its evolution. I look forward to working together with our staff and students to continue building the University of Canberra as a global leader in high-quality education and problem-solving research." 

Chancellor and chair of the University Council, Professor Tom Calma AO, welcomed Professor Saini and said the University's governing body is thrilled he will be leading the University of Canberra.

"Professor Saini's outstanding credentials  and extensive international experience will play a major role in making this university one of Australia's most innovative tertiary institutions; world-ranked, with regional, national and international reach," Professor Calma said.

"His vision, leadership and strong track record in campus expansion will guide the University of Canberra into its new stage of growth and development."

Born in Pathankot, Punjab, Professor Saini began his academic career at the University of Alberta as a post-doctoral fellow, before joining the Université de Montréal where he served as the director-general of the Plant Biology Research Institute and then moved to the University of Waterloo as dean of the Faculty of Environment.

Professor Saini is an experienced university administrator and advocate for higher education. He has held numerous leadership roles both within his profession and in the community and has received a number of honours including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and recognition on the Canadian "Power List 2011" by India Abroad Magazine.

Professor Saini completed his undergraduate and master's degrees at the Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India, and holds a doctorate in plant physiology from the University of Adelaide.

The music enthusiast, golf lover and cooking aficionado has moved to Australia with his wife Rani. His two daughters and grandchild live in Canada.