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Welcome Message from the President

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The following message from President Abd-El-Aziz was issued to the University community on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

With the 2018–2019 academic year about to begin, I thank you for choosing to be a part of the University of Prince Edward Island community and welcome you to, or back to, our picturesque campus during what is one of the most beautiful times of year.

At UPEI, we are fortunate to study, work, and live in a safe, respectful campus environment that embraces and celebrates differences, and encourages creativity and innovation.

Preliminary indications are that this will be another banner year for UPEI, as it will mark UPEI’s largest incoming class, and yet another increase in our international student enrolment. And, given the tremendous response to the Welcome Day Fair and New Student Orientation (NSO) Week kick-off celebrations, UPEI is in store for excellent engagement and enthusiasm on the part of students, faculty, and staff. I am so excited that we had a record number of new students register for both International Student Orientation and NSO. These are key activities that support students and ensure they begin their time at UPEI “on the right foot.”

While I extend a big thank-you to members of our University community who are dedicating time to welcome and help students transition to the upcoming academic year, I must note that we strive every day to create a welcoming campus that offers safe, inclusive spaces where students can thrive academically, culturally, and socially. To achieve this objective, we are applying resources, both human and financial, to support our students’ success.

One example is the Student Experience Hub at Dalton Hall, which will open in October 2018, creating a functional hub for student-related services and programs. Another initiative to reinforce our tremendous growth in future-focussed programming has been the hiring of over 100 new faculty and staff members in the past two years, either into new positions or to fill vacancies.

With September’s arrival, we are eager to build on the momentum achieved over the past five years. UPEI is approaching the new academic year with a sharpened focus and sense of renewal. Thanks to the efforts of our UPEI Strategic Planning Committee, the process is well underway for the development of our UPEI Strategic Plan, 2018–2023. The draft plan, which will be shared with the University community in the near future, builds upon the success of our previous strategic plan for 2013–2018.

We are quickly approaching a major milestone: in 2019, the University of Prince Edward Island will celebrate 50 years serving as a leader in education and research. While we observe UPEI’s golden anniversary, we will also recognize our over-200-year history of delivering post-secondary education through our founding institutions, Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University. The 50th-Anniversary Working Group is busily planning a yearlong series of activities that will highlight the University’s significant contributions over the years as well as showcase how our great institution continues to be a catalyst for positive impact in our province and around the world. I look forward to keeping you updated in the weeks and months ahead as these events and commemorations unfold.

To our students, I encourage you to reach out to the many different networks we have created to support your university experience. Learn from our amazing faculty, and seek assistance from our wonderful staff—we are here to empower your curiosity and help you explore your options, now and for your future endeavours!

Whether this is your first or fourth year, take advantage of the many opportunities, activities, and celebrations that UPEI has to offer. Attending university is more than what happens in the classroom or laboratory. Participating in extra-curricular activities is a great way to have fun, make a difference, and build friendships that last a lifetime.

As classes begin today, take pride in our collective accomplishments and share your excitement for the future of our dynamic and vibrant learning community. We have much to celebrate and many opportunities before us. As we encourage and inspire students along their educational journeys, let us keep our mission and vision of developing our students to their full potential in both the classroom and the community always at the forefront.

I wish everyone a great start to our academic year and look forward to working together to achieve our shared priorities in support of student success.

Best wishes,


Dr. Alaa S. Abd-El-Aziz
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Prince Edward Island


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