Dr. Lily D. McNair will become Tuskegee University’s eighth president after being unanimously selected by its Board of Trustees. She will serve as the first female president of the institution 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.”
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, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar College.
Burt Rowe, a 1970 Tuskegee graduate, president of the Tuskegee National Alumni Association Inc., and search committee member, attested to McNair’s collaborative approach to engaging alumni, donors and other university stakeholders.
“I am honored and excited to welcome Dr. McNair to the Tuskegee family. She is a trusted and well-respected leader who understands Tuskegee’s unique heritage, culture and traditions,” Rowe said. “Deeply engaging and collaborative, she is committed to ensuring that all voices of the Tuskegee family will be heard, and I am confident that alumni will enjoy working with Dr. McNair to continue moving ‘the pride of the swift-growing South’ forward.”
McNair views both Tuskegee’s reputation and legacy as its foundation for continued success under her leadership.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected to serve as the eighth president of Tuskegee University,” she said. “The historic contributions of the university’s students, faculty and alumni are well known and valued throughout the nation. I very much look forward to building on the legacy of my predecessors so that Tuskegee University will ascend to even greater heights in the years to come.”
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.