Media Releases

UofT appoints new Vice President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga

January 21, 2010

TORONTO, ON – Professor Hargurdeep (Deep) Saini, Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, has been appointed the new Vice President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga, UofT announced today.

The appointment, a five-year term, begins on July 1, 2010. 

“I’m delighted that Prof. Deep Saini is joining us as Vice President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga,” said President David Naylor. “A fine scholar and generous mentor, Deep Saini has a very strong record of innovative leadership at the Université de Montreal and more recently the University of Waterloo. 

“I am confident that Prof. Saini will provide outstanding leadership for our dynamic west campus.”  

Saini is an experienced administrator, researcher and teacher who has been Dean of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment since 2006. A professor in the Faculty’s Department of Environment and Resource Studies, he also holds cross appointments in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and in the Department of Geography & Environmental Management, Faculty of Environment.  

“I am thrilled to be joining the leadership team of an institution I have always held in the highest esteem,” said Saini, who is fluent in English, French, Hindi and Punjabi. “As Canada’s largest university and a preeminent research institution, the University of Toronto has a unique responsibility of nurturing the brightest minds of our nation – indeed the world. 

“I am particularly excited to be taking on a leadership role at UofT Mississauga, a truly dynamic and innovative campus.”

Under Saini’s strong leadership, the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo has experienced a substantial growth in enrolment. He introduced a number of innovative new degree programs and added two unique academic units – the School of Environment, Enterprise & Development and the Centre for Knowledge Integration.   

Saini also has broad experience in university administration and government matters, and has been an effective advocate for Waterloo, attracting millions of dollars in infrastructure and operating funding from the federal government, private sector and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.  

The University of Toronto Mississauga is one of three campuses at the University of Toronto. Established in 1967, it is UofT’s second-largest division with 14 academic departments, an Institute of Communications and Culture, 149 programs and 90 areas of study. It is academic home to about 11,000 undergraduate students, 430 graduate students and 700 faculty and staff. 

UofT Mississauga is known for its vibrant research environment and many of its faculty and researchers are recognized internationally for their innovative work. Most degrees are at the undergraduate level; however, UofT Mississauga is increasingly emphasizing its graduate studies and the school is known for its interdisciplinary graduate programs designed to give students an edge in the workplace. 

“The University of Toronto Mississauga is located amidst one of Canada’s fastest growing urban centres, with tremendous entrepreneurial zeal and cultural diversity,” said Saini. “It is uniquely positioned to respond to the area’s burgeoning demand for high-quality education. 

“I am looking forward to leading the continued transformation of UofT Mississauga into an outstanding comprehensive campus within a strong UofT system.”

Prior to joining the University of Waterloo, Saini taught at the Université de Montréal in the Départment de sciences biologiques, Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (Plant Biology Research Institute). He served as the Institute’s Director General from 1996-2001, leading it through a period of significant change guided by strategic planning exercise.  

He holds a doctorate in Plant Physiology from the University of Adelaide, Waite Agricultural Research Institute (1982); an M.Sc. (Honours) in Botany (1977); and, a B.Sc. (Honours) in Botany (1975) from Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India. He began his Canadian academic career in 1982 at the University of Alberta as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Plant Science. 

Saini has served as President of the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists from 2003-05, and President of the Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies from 2005-07.  In 2009, he was appointed to Export Development Canada’s Advisory Council on Corporate Social Responsibility and recently represented the University of Waterloo as a member of the Ontario Premier’s “2009 Clean Tech Mission to India.” 

He is currently a member of the NSERC’s ‘Biological Systems and Functions’ grant selection panel, the Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Botany (since 2003), and has also served as Consulting Editor of the Journal of Crop Production (1997-2000). 

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For more information or a photograph of Prof. Saini, contact:

Laurie Stephens
University of Toronto
416-500-0064; 416-978-0100
Laurie.stephens@utoronto.ca