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Dalhousie University goes Down Under for new president

Dalhousie University has chosen a new president.

Deep Saini, vice-chancellor and president of the University of Canberra in Australia, will assume the mantle at Dalhousie on Jan. 1, 2020, the university’s board of governors announced in a release on Thursday.

Saini, who was born and raised in India, has a PhD in plant physiology from the University of Adelaide. He has previously taught at the University of Alberta, was a leading researcher at the Universite de Montreal and was Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo.

He has served as a vice-president at the University of Toronto and principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga before becoming president at Canberra.

“I am honoured and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the 12th president and vice-chancellor of Dalhousie University,” Saini said in the release. “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.”

Saini was the unanimous choice of the search committee for the five-year appointment.

He follows Richard Florizone, who was president from 2013 to 2018, and Peter MacKinnon, whose term as interim president is set to finish at the end of June.

The board of governors is going to review options shortly for interim leadership for the remainder of 2019.

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