McGill University appoints Prof Deep Saini as new Principal and VC

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By Asia Samachar | Canada |

Scientist Hargurdeep Saini has been tapped to become the principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, a Montreal-based institution of higher learning with the highest percentage of PhD students of any Canadian research university.

Popularly known as Prof H Deep Saini, who is the current president/VC of the Nova Scotia-based Dalhousie University, will serve a five-year renewable term effective April 1, 2023.

Prof. Saini was chosen by a unanimous vote of the board of governors, following a recommendation of an Advisory Committee formed to lead an extensive, international search, according to a statement released by the university.

Prof Saini grew up in India, where he completed his Master of Science (Honours) in Botany from Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana. He then moved to Australia to earn a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Adelaide. He has also served as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra in Australia.

A trusted and respected leader whose Canadian experience includes working at four of the top 15 research-intensive universities of the country, Prof. Saini has a keen understanding of Quebec culture, having lived close to two decades in Montreal. He is fluent in four languages, including English and French, the statement added.

“He exemplifies the rare mix of strong academic leadership with a wide-ranging and international perspective. He is the perfect choice for McGill as it embarks on its third century,” said McGill’s Board of Governors chair Maryse Bertrand.

Prof. Saini’s distinguished career has earned him several awards and recognitions, including honours from the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists, Nanjing University, the Royal Society of New South Wales, the Punjab Academy of Sciences, and the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. He is also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum and Diamond Jubilee Medals, in recognition of his service to education and Canada.

The University extends a heartfelt thanks to the Chair of the Board for leading this process, the Chancellor and all other members of the Advisory Committee for their many months of hard work and dedication. “I am grateful to all members of the University community, both internally and externally, who participated in this process and provided valuable input”, says Board Chair Bertrand.

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(Asia Samachar, x 2022)

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