TUSKEGEE, AL – Tuskegee University has announced Dr. Lily D. McNair will become the university’s eighth president after being unanimously selected by its Board of Trustees. She will serve as the first female president in its 136-year history. McNair currently is provost and Senior Vice President for academic affairs at Wagner College in New York City. She will begin her duties at Tuskegee on July 1, 2018.
“When we launched our presidential search last October, our goal was to identify someone who could champion both Tuskegee’s historic legacy and her place in the future of higher education,” said John E. Page, chair of Tuskegee’s Board of Trustees. “Our Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. McNair brings to Tuskegee the precise skill set required to ensure we continue thriving as one of the nation’s leading HBCUs.”
According to the university, since 2011, McNair has served as the second-ranking executive of Wagner College – a private college of 2,200 students located on New York City’s Staten Island. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. McNair’s higher education career includes other academic, research and executive appointments at Spelman College, University of Georgia, and the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar College.
A native of New Jersey, Dr. McNair holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
McNair’s appointment follows a six-month national presidential search that began on Oct. 18, 2017. During that time, and in partnership with the search firm Isaacson, Miller, the Presidential Search Committee conducted listening sessions with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni; administrated a stakeholder survey to garner additional opinions about the requirements qualifications and opportunities for the university’s eighth president; and evaluated more than 150 prospective candidates, narrowing the field to a small group who were interviewed in person.
Since Tuskegee University’s founding in 1881, it has been under the leadership of seven presidents – the first of which was Booker T. Washington, who led the institution from 1881 to 1915. McNair will succeed interim president Charlotte P. Morris, whose 35-year tenure with the university has included two terms as interim president – the most recent of which began on July 1, 2017.
The university’s presidential search webpage provides additional information about McNair, as well as details about the presidential search process.