VIU Campus

Office of the President

Deb Saucier Portrait

Dr. Deborah Saucier President and Vice-Chancellor of Vancouver Island University

Biography

Dr. Deborah (Deb) Saucier became President and Vice-Chancellor of Vancouver Island University in July 2019. An experienced administrator, accomplished neuroscientist and devoted educator, Saucier is deeply committed to student success, Indigenous education, reconciliation and community engagement.

Originally from Saskatoon with Métis heritage, Saucier started her journey in academia on Vancouver Island, completing an International Baccalaureate diploma at the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific in Metchosin, and then bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology at the University of Victoria. She became a scientist after her and her friends realized they had no idea how to make “supervillain” a viable career path.

After obtaining her PhD in psychology from the University of Western Ontario in 1995, Saucier worked as a psychology professor and researcher for many years, garnering a number of Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canadian Foundation for Innovation and other research grants for various projects. She’s also held a number of administrative roles, most recently President of MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, and Provost and Vice President (Academic) at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa.

Aside from continuing VIU’s innovative work in Indigenous education, access and community engagement, Saucier is a major proponent of a well-rounded university experience that includes training in both the sciences and the humanities.

Saucier is married to curator and contemporary artist Chai Duncan, and they have an 11-year-old daughter whose passion is horses, to which Saucier is conveniently allergic. Her dream is to help make VIU’s high-quality education even more accessible to all who wish to attend post-secondary. Her favourite sports team is currently the Toronto Raptors – #WeTheNorth – and if she could have a superpower, she would like to be able to teleport so she can attend meetings and get lots of time at home with her family.

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