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As of July 1, the University of King’s College will have a new vice-president.
Last week, the Board of Governors at King’s announced that Peter O’Brien will take over the role this summer.
O’Brien is a King’s graduate, has an MA in Classics from Dalhousie University and works as a King’s Carnegie professor and assistant professor in Dalhousie’s Classics Department.
“I’m looking forward to spending more time at King’s and working with students and colleagues that I already respect and like, and to making a robust contribution to the future of the college,” he says.
O’Brien says he knew about the job opening, but didn’t think about applying for the position until several colleagues approached him and he received a formal nomination.
“I have the experience of the larger university setting and there’s certain benefits that come with that,” he says of his time teaching at Dalhousie. “But it’s just kind of inevitable that in a large institution like that, you don’t really have the chance to build up the personal relationships you do at King’s.”
King’s President William Lahey says he is looking forward to working with O’Brien.
“Peter knows the community very well already and is well known in the community,” Lahey says. “I’m really happy that he’s agreed to take on the role of vice-president.”
On top of working at the universities, O’Brien sings in the King’s Chorus and has been the Public Orator — someone who acts as a voice for the university during ceremonies and presents honorary degrees — at King’s since 2011.
“Knowing the community and knowing it in so many different ways, from so many different perspectives, I think that’s very, very important for people in administrative positions,” says Lahey. “They can identify with the perspective that people in other constituencies, that they have of the college.”
O’Brien will take over for Kim Kierans, who has held the position since 2010. He has signed to a three-year term.
“I have very positive feelings about spending more time at a place that I’ve really grown to know and love over the years,” he says.