Tuskegee University President Lily McNair to Resume Her Duties on May 15

On July 1, 2018, Lily McNair became the eighth president of Tuskegee University in Alabama. She was the first woman to lead the historically Black university that was founded by Booker T. Washington.

In January of this year, Dr. McNair asked for and was granted a medical leave of absence from her duties. Neither Dr. McNair or the university divulged the reason for her absence. Ruby L. Perry, the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and a Tuskegee alumna, was named acting president.

Now, the university has announced that Dr. McNair will return to resume her duties on May 15. “President McNair needed to focus on her health and recovery, first and foremost. If there’s anything this current pandemic teaches us, it’s that our health should remain paramount,” Board of Trustees Chair Norma B. Clayton said. “I thank Dr. McNair for her resolve to return to the university with renewed strength and vigor — and with the same heartfelt passion and long-range vision she has had for Tuskegee since her first day on the job.”

Before coming to Tuskegee in 2018, Dr. McNair was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College on Staten Island in New York City. Before becoming provost in 2011, Dr. McNair was associate provost for research and a professor of psychology at Spelman College in Atlanta. She has also taught at the State University of New York at New Paltz and the University of Georgia and was a psychologist at the counseling center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Dr. McNair is a graduate of Princeton University in New Jersey, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from Stony Brook University of the State University of New York System.

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