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York St John University welcomes its new vice chancellor

York St John University has welcomed its new Vice Chancellor, Professor Karen Bryan, OBE, who joins at an unprecedented time in the institution’s 180-year history.

Professor Bryan’s appointment was announced at the start of January following an extensive recruitment process to replace former Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Stanton, who stepped down from the role in November 2019.

Professor Bryan joins from the University of Greenwich where she was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic). Before that Professor Bryan worked in senior positions at Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Surrey. She also has extensive experience of working in the NHS and has advised several government departments on issues relating to her leading research in speech and language therapy.

The University community is currently working off campus due to the coronavirus, but staff and students are busily preparing for the next term to be delivered through distance learning. Professor Bryan recognises the unique circumstances in which she has taken up her new role.

Speaking about her new post, Professor Bryan said.

“I feel very proud to become Vice Chancellor at York St John University. It is an ambitious University with a vibrant history and a vital role to play in the future of York and the region. Our talented team is dedicated to supporting students and to making a positive impact in the wider world. These qualities have been especially evident in the last few weeks through our response to the global health crisis.

We are all adjusting to the current reality, balancing personal and professional responsibilities and coming together in support for frontline services and compassion for those most affected.

Naturally it is challenging to be joining the university at a time when we can’t be on campus. However, staff have made a fantastic effort to transition to work from home and look after the wellbeing of each other and our students. I’ll be using all the tools available to connect with colleagues, support students and keep everybody updated on what we’re doing”.

As a key employer in the city of York, an important partner to the NHS and other public services, and a leading provider of skilled workforce and training to businesses across the region, Professor Bryan recognises that the University has many different roles to play in both the short and longer-term response to the coronavirus. Professor Bryan said.

“My priority is to steer the University through the immediate issues. Then, to make sure we play our part in the wider effort to support public services and to help those people most affected by the virus and its consequences.

York St John is a deeply caring University. We help people from all walks of life to achieve their potential. We have a track record of responding effectively to a changing world. As we come through the pandemic together those strengths will be more important than ever. I’m determined that we will play our part in the local, national and international effort”.