Ken Chan, Brock’s new Vice-President, Administration, ready to build on University’s momentum

Ken Chan is on a mission to help Brock University achieve its full potential as it emerges from the pandemic towards a “new normal.”

The new Vice-President, Administration, whose appointment began Tuesday, June 1, is eager to hit the ground running.

Chan brings broad leadership experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, most recently as the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force Secretariat at the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General.

As he begins his new role with the University, his first order of business is clear.

“My first priority is to get to know the people at Brock,” he says. “Not only the people who I will be working directly with, but also the broader Brock community as well as business and community leaders in Niagara.”

It was the renowned Brock experience, and the University’s reputation for community, that drew him to the position. Chan was also enticed by Brock’s Institutional Strategic Plan, and looks forward to being part of the team that continues to implement it over the coming years.

“When asked what I bring to the table, I say it is my experience working across sectors and internationally that can help connect the dots within the VP, Admin’s diverse portfolio,” he says. “I can complement Brock’s existing bench strength to help unleash our full potential, whether that’s in the area of pandemic response and recovery; building a strong, financially sustainable institution over the long term; or creating a university of the future with opportunities such as the Canada Games Park and the new Burlington campus.”

Chan says he also wants to be a part of the “solution to what a post-pandemic environment will look like when it comes to teaching, learning and research.”

“We can leverage some of the ways we are now working and learning as we adapt to the ‘new normal,’” he says. “What does the ‘new normal’ look like when it comes to an accessible, inclusive and transformational university experience? How can our physical and digital infrastructure support excellence in teaching, learning and research? And also, how do we continue to enhance the vibrancy of our local region and beyond?

“I see a lot of potential there and look forward to providing leadership and working with our partners both on campus and off in realizing what the post-pandemic environment has to offer all of us,” he says. “There are very exciting times ahead for Brock.”

Chan says he sees Brock as an anchor for the region, but one that will “transcend regional boundaries to contribute to the growth of the province and the country as well.”

Having lived and worked abroad, Chan’s past experiences can help Brock extend its reach globally. He previously served as an advisor in the Mayor’s Office in London, England, and with the U.K. Department for Business. His leadership roles in the biotech and life sciences sectors also provided him with international exposure.

As the Vice-President responsible for research funding at Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Chan oversaw the awarding of research grants that enabled the work of scientists at university labs across the country.

“From that vantage point, I was given a backstage look into the positive impact of scientific research in improving lives,” he says. He saw first-hand the value of supporting researchers at all levels of their career.

More recently, Chan’s time as an Assistant Deputy Minister with Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries had him working closely with provincial organizations that contributed to the economic and cultural fabric of the Niagara region, including Niagara Parks, the Ontario Heritage Trust and Destination Ontario.

Even prior to his work, Chan was no stranger to Niagara. His husband Warren, with whom he recently moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake, is originally from Grimsby, which meant many trips to the region over the years to visit family.

Chan is passionate about continually challenging himself and is a firm believer in the concept of lifelong learning.

Currently pursuing a Global Executive PhD at ESCP Business School in Paris, he believes his own experience as a graduate student and researcher will help him to see his new role from an academic perspective.

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