Deborah Saucier has been appointed the next president at Vancouver Island University. MacEwan University photo

Vancouver Island University names next president

Deborah Saucier has been appointed the next president of VIU, replacing Ralph Nilson

VIU has announced the next leader at the university.

Deborah Saucier has been appointed the next president of Vancouver Island University, according to a press release from VIU.

Saucier has been president at MacEwan University in Edmonton since 2017. According to the press releases, she is “an accomplished neuroscientiest, dedicated educator and university administrator with a deep commitment to STEM and indigenous education.”

She is from Saskatoon, has Métis heritage and completed undergraduate and master’s studies at the University of Victoria.

Saucier said in the release that she was drawn to VIU’s commitment to student success, teaching quality, supporting a healthy workplace, as well as its commitment to serving coastal and indigenous communities. She will continue advocacy work encouraging more women to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“I am so excited to be part of the unique ways that VIU is transforming the communities of coastal British Columbia – allowing people to realize their dreams without having to leave their homes,” said Saucier. “I identify strongly with the values that VIU brings to these conversations and look forward to the ways in which we can do even more in the future.”

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VIU board chairperson Makenzie Leine, who chaired the search advisory committee, said the board is pleased to welcome Saucier back to the Island.

“Her deep passion for student success and employee engagement, her extensive experience as a distinguished researcher and educator in psychology and neuroscience as well as an academic and community leader are impressive,” Leine said. “For these reasons, along with her own personal connection to indigenous peoples and commitment to reconciliation, we are excited to welcome Dr. Saucier as our next president.”

Saucier has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from UVic, a doctorate in psychology from Western University and was vice-president, academic, at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology before moving on to MacEwan University.

Saucier’s five-year term will begin in July. She replaces Ralph Nilson.

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