Professor Karen Bryan OBE, Vice-Chancellor of York St John University, has been appointed as the new Chair of Yorkshire Universities, the representative body for universities and higher education institutions in Yorkshire and The Humber. Professor Bryan will succeed Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, whose two-year term as Chair ends on 31 July 2022.
The core mission of Yorkshire Universities is to help build a more productive, prosperous, inclusive and sustainable region. Professor Bryan will be responsible for steering the organisation’s relationships with national and local government, devolved institutions, business, further education colleges and public sector partners.
Professor Bryan said:
“I am delighted to be taking up this new role. Through their education, research, knowledge exchange and civic activities, universities can help to create more and better opportunities for people and local communities. In Yorkshire Universities, we have a unique convenor of higher education capabilities and assets for the wider benefit of the economy, society and environment in the region.”
Welcoming Professor Bryan as Chair of the Board, Dr Peter O’Brien, Executive Director, said:
“I am very much looking forward to working with Karen, who has been leading our recent work designed to encourage universities and regional partners to increase their collective support for graduate employment and employability. I would also like to thank Shirley Congdon, who was Chair during a very challenging time, but whose commitment to collaboration has seen Yorkshire Universities going from strength to strength in the last two years.”
Notes to Editors
Professor Karen Bryan joined York St John University as Vice-Chancellor in April 2020. She 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 upon Tyne 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.
Yorkshire Universities has a shared commitment to strengthen the contribution of universities and higher education institutions to the economic, social and civic well-being of people and places in Yorkshire. Its members are: Leeds Arts University; Leeds Conservatoire; Leeds Beckett University; Leeds Trinity University; Sheffield Hallam University; University of Bradford; University of Huddersfield; University of Hull; University of Leeds; University of Sheffield; University of York; and York St John University.