Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz assumed his responsibilities as the sixth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island on July 1, 2011. Since that time he has championed a highly collaborative strategic planning process designed to define and advance the strategic direction of UPEI and support its academic mission—teaching, research and service. The University’s Future Directions Vision focuses on four key pillars: student experience, vibrant communities, exploration and discovery, and living sustainability. Within the context of a challenging post-secondary environment, Dr. Abd-El-Aziz has led institutional evaluation and transformation to advance priority areas critical to the University’s success.
Currently the chair of the Association of Atlantic Universities and a member of the Standing Committee on International Relations with Universities Canada, Dr. Abd-El-Aziz also serves on the Board of Directors of several organizations including the PEI BioAlliance, Holland College, and the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Throughout his administrative career, Dr. Abd-El-Aziz has remained actively involved in chemistry, making significant contributions to research and teaching in his field of inorganic and organometallic polymers and materials. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious academic journals, one book, and ten book chapters; and edited 14 books. He is the editor of the Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials and is on the editorial board of six other journals related to his field of expertise.
Dr. Abd-El-Aziz has delivered over 160 presentations, and has chaired several international conferences including the International Congress on Advanced Materials held in China in 2011 and 2013. He has been invited to present lectures nationally and internationally. During the course of his career, Dr. Abd-El-Aziz has secured research funding totalling over $10,000,000.
An accomplished chemist and fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, Dr. Abd-El-Aziz received his BSc and MSc degrees from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, his PhD from the University of Saskatchewan, and an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. Immediately prior to joining UPEI, Dr. Abd-El-Aziz was provost of the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus where he provided leadership and in the areas of planning, policy development, and resource management. His responsibilities also encompassed the academic and research mandates.
As UPEI president and vice-chancellor Dr. Abd-El-Aziz continues to engage in his passion for both teaching and research by offering an undergraduate course, supervising graduate students, and establishing and maintaining a research laboratory on campus.
The University of Prince Edward Island is consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top primarily undergraduate universities, and offers a wide range of programs and degrees in arts, business, science, veterinary medicine, nursing, and education to 4,400 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students from over 60 countries.