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). 


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

Lau­rie Stephens
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
416–500-0064; 416–978-0100