Dal president Deep Saini is leaving for McGill | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Deep Saini has been Dalhousie's president and vice-chancellor since January 2020.

Dal president Deep Saini is leaving for McGill

The administrator is saying farewell to Nova Scotia two years before his term is up.

On Monday afternoon, Dalhousie University announced its president and vice-chancellor Deep Saini is leaving to take the helm at McGill. Saini is to part ways with Dalhousie, and its HoCo-related tomfoolery (McGill does not do that sort of thing) on Dec. 31.

Saini began his tenure as Dalhousie’s president in January 2020, holding the position through the COVID years. Dalhousie presidents are normally on a renewable five-year term, but Saini is leaving for Montreal after three. “I am sad to see Dr. Saini’s time with us end much sooner than we had hoped,” board of governors chair Bob Hanf writes in Dalhousie’s public statement. “I know this was a tough decision for Deep and his family.” Hanf implies the decision was at least in part for personal reasons, writing “the chance to be even closer to his children and grandchildren makes this a great opportunity even beyond the merits of the position itself.”

In a news release also issued on Monday, McGill University announced its board of governors had unanimously voted to appoint Saini as principal (McGill’s equivalent of president) and vice-chancellor after an “extensive international search,” and that he will begin his term there in April 2023.

“I’ll have more to share soon, but for now let me simply express my immense gratitude to our entire Dal community. This is an exceptional university, and one I am incredibly proud to have served these past three years,” Saini writes on Twitter.

This announcement comes on the same day Dalhousie’s teaching assistants, part-time instructors, markers and demonstrators represented by CUPE 3912 returned to work after a nearly one month long strike.

While Dalhousie searches for a new president, Frank Harvey, current provost and academic vice-president and former dean of arts and sciences, will serve as acting president and vice-chancellor.

UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, Saini released a statement explaining why he chose to leave Dalhousie. He writes:

"This was not something I had contemplated or deliberately sought out, but rather came about from a confluence of opportunities. First was that personal reasons for needing to be closer to my family had grown significantly over the past year. Second was the incredible respect and appreciation I have for McGill and what it has contributed to this country and to the world. And finally, the chance to return to Montreal — the city where my wife Rani and I raised our daughters and called home for close to 20 years."

About The Author

Kaija Jussinoja

Kaija Jussinoja is a news reporter at The Coast, where she covers the stories that make Halifax the weird and wonderful place we call home. She is originally from North Vancouver, BC and graduated from the University of King’s College in 2022. Jussinoja joined The Coast in May 2022 after interning at The Chronicle...

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