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Leadership and governance

Vice Chancellor

The Vice Chancellor of York St John University is Professor Karen Bryan.

Vice Chancellor Karen Bryan

As Vice Chancellor, Professor Bryan is the principal academic and administrative office of the University, with a number of key responsibilities.

Professor Bryan provides strategic leadership for the institution, setting our overall direction. In doing this, she reports to the University’s Governing Body and is accountable to them for the University’s overall progress, public impact and financial sustainability. Professor Bryan Chairs the Executive Board – the senior team that leads the different Schools and Professional Services across the University. Professor Bryan is also a figurehead for the University, and works with senior leaders and representatives from many different organisations to realise benefits for York St John’s students and staff community.

Professor Karen Bryan joined York St John University as Vice Chancellor in April 2020. Having initially steered the University through the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, she then led a refresh of our 2026 Strategy, setting the University on course to address the opportunities and challenges of the new decade. Professor Bryan is leading the University into the next phase of our development: providing ‘support to success’ across our growing student population; enhancing our research impact; and driving forward our social justice mission.

Before joining York St John, Professor Bryan was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Greenwich. Prior to that she was Pro Vice Chancellor for Regional Engagement and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University.

Professor Bryan qualified as a speech and language therapist from the University of Newcastle and also gained her PhD there. Her research interests are in communication difficulties in young offenders and in forensic populations. Also the impact of communication difficulties on access to healthcare. She is involved in the development of Registered Intermediaries working for the Ministry of Justice, and was previously a member of the Health Professions Council.

Professor Bryan is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Neuropsychology at the University of Warsaw, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. She was awarded an OBE for services to higher education in 2018.

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