Wade MacLauchlan announced his bid for the leadership of the governing Liberals during a news conference today in York, just outside Charlottetown.
He is the only declared candidate in the leadership race that began earlier this month when Premier Robert Ghiz announced his resignation.
Whoever emerges as winner during a leadership convention scheduled for Feb. 20-21 will become P.E.I.'s 32nd premier.
MacLauchlan, who served as president of the university from 1999 to 2011, is an elected member of the North Shore Community Council and serves on the board of the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities.
This year, MacLauchlan wrote a book on the life of P.E.I.'s longest-serving premier, Alex B. Campbell.