Jamaican Donette Chin-Loy Chang Appointed 6th Chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University

Toronto Metropolitan University in Canada has selected one of its illustrious alumni to serve as the institution’s next chancellor. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, who was born in Kingston, was recommended to the university’s Board of Governors to succeed Janice Fukakusa and will become the sixth chancellor of TMU. Her tenure will begin on October 10, 2024, and she will serve for a term of three years.

New tasks for a proven leader

Donette Chin-Loy Chang brings considerable skills and experience to her new role. She has distinguished herself as a leader in communications, public affairs, and philanthropic work, and she is an alumna of the university. The ceremonial chancellorship position means that Chin-Loy Chang will function as an ambassador for the university at the local, national, and global levels. She will also preside over TMU’s convocations and confer degrees and diplomas.

Regarding Chang’s appointment, TMU president and vice chancellor, Mohamed Lachemi, noted that she has long been a valued member of the university community, working to support equity-centred  organizations. She has shown a commitment to education and the desire to improve the lives of the people around her. Lachemi added that the university is very pleased to know she will continue her relationship with the university as its chancellor.

A champion for the university

Chin-Loy Chang has always been a strong supporter of TMU students, funding numerous scholarships and initiatives aimed at enhancing their well-being. She established several bursaries at the university, including the DMZ, the Chang School, and the Lincoln Alexander School of Law. Chang also established an emergency fund for students during the COVID-19 pandemic and contributed to the university’s Viola Desmond Awards programme and the President’s Awards to Champion Equity campaign.

In accepting her appointment as chancellor, Chin-Loy Chang said she was humbled and proud to accept the role at an “extraordinary community” that values excellence, equity, and reconciliation” and that “always challenges the status quo with bold and innovative action.”

Background and experience

Chin-Loy Chang left Jamaica at the age of 17 to attend TMU, formerly Ryerson College. After graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in journalism, she went to work with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in various roles, including reporter, producer, and announcer for CBC Radio’s local and global audiences.

In her four-decade career, she has developed and managed strategies for numerous clients in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. She worked as a strategist for government ministers, including the Prime Minister of Jamaica, which led to her appointment to head radio initiatives at the Jamaica Information Service.

She has published in prestigious Canadian journals, trained journalists in English-speaking Caribbean nations and Haiti, and was a visiting lecturer at the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Mass Communications. She founded her own communications agency, Donette Chin-Loy and Associates, in the 1990s. In 2018, she received an honorary degree from UWI, and in 2021, she was presented with an honorary degree from TMU.

A joy in giving

Chin-Loy Chang and her late husband, G. Raymond Chang, who served as the third chancellor of TMU, dedicated themselves to changing the lives of individuals in Canada and around the world via education, health care, social justice, and the arts.

She has said that the real joy in life does not come from “ease or riches or from the praise of men,” but from “doing something worthwhile. In addition to her philanthropic work in Canada, Chin-Loy Chang has made significant donations to UWI Mona and supported several high-school alumni projects in Jamaica.