He’s been at his post since the beginning of September, but Dr. Alan Davis was officially sworn in as the new president and vice-chancellor of Kwantlen Polytechnic University at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
During his “installation” at the Surrey campus on 72 Avenue, Davis said though he started at Kwantlen about a month ago, he’s only now beginning to understand the “excitement and complexity” of what lies ahead.
Telling personal anecdotes and sharing laughs with his academic colleagues and the audience, he spoke about forming his vision for Kwantlen, saying “its promise is enormous” as it expands programs and opportunities for students.
Davis is the sixth president of the institution, which has campuses in Surrey, Langley and Richmond.
Representatives of staff, faculty and students each delivered formal greetings to the new president and members of the Kwantlen First Nation, whose land the university is on, also performed the Kwantlen Honour Song to welcome Davis.
Davis has been in the U.S. for the past four years and was most recently president at State University of New York, Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, NY. He earned his PhD and Master of Science in chemistry from Simon Fraser University and his bachelor degree in science from the University of London. He has teaching experience at various institutions, including Vancouver Community College, Athabasca University, Douglas College and Fraser Valley College.
Outside academics, he is a self-professed lover of music and literature, has published several plays for young people and is involved in community theatre. He is married with four children.
Davis replaces David Atkinson, who resigned early last year, and John McKendry, who served as interim president.