OTTAWA—Deep Saini was appointed vice-chair of Universities Canada’s board of directors for a term of one year today, at the organization’s bi-annual membership meeting. After serving in this role, he is expected to succeed University of Toronto president, Meric Gertler, as chair of Universities Canada’s board of directors from October 2023-2025.
As a career academic and accomplished researcher in plant biology, Dr. Saini brings broad post-secondary experience and international perspective. Before taking on the role of Dalhousie University’s 12th president in January 2020, Dr. Saini served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra in Australia (2016-2019). Originally from India, Dr. Saini holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Physiology from Australia’s University of Adelaide, and has worked at four of Canada’s top 15 research-intensive universities, including the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo and the Université de Montréal.
Universities Canada’s bi-annual membership meeting provides a forum for Canadian university presidents to discuss current issues, as well as the future of post-secondary education and research. Under this year’s theme, Forward together: Trailblazing beyond recovery, university leaders shared their vision for a prosperous, sustainable and inclusive future, and the importance of investing in university education and research to get there.
“Dr. Saini has been a long-time advocate for higher education and innovation, and has been a valuable contributing member to our organization and board of directors throughout the pandemic,” said Paul Davidson, Universities Canada president. “As vice-chair, I am confident he will continue providing strong, national leadership to Canada’s universities as they support the people and ideas that are key to a brighter future.”
Universities Canada is also pleased to welcome three new directors to its board: Charlotte Yates, president of the University of Guelph; Christian Blanchette, rector of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières; and Daniel Jutras, rector of Université de Montréal. Philip Steenkamp, president of Royal Roads University, also joined the board as chair of Universities Canada’s International Committee. These board members have been appointed on a two-year term.
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