Yale names Maurie McInnis, who runs Stony Brook, as its next president

Maurie McInnis, a cultural historian who directs Stony Brook University, will be the next president of Yale University, school officials announced Wednesday.

McInnis will begin July 1, she told the campus community in a letter that contained warm memories of her time as a graduate student at Yale, and said she was “grateful to enter university at a time when priorities are clear and the plan to achieve them is solid.

She will take on this role at a time of turbulence in higher education, which has been rocked in recent months by protests against the war between Israel and Gaza, with many presidents – even at institutions as famous and influential as Yale – making facing intense criticism from those in charge. who, former students and others.

Until Yale’s announcement, half the Ivy League needed a president. The list of Ivy League schools that have yet to name a new leader now includes Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University. The presidents of Harvard and Penn recently resigned amid intense scrutiny after being questioned about campus anti-Semitism before a congressional committee. Cornell’s president announced her resignation this month.

At national scale, Several leaders faced votes of no confidence or censored votes from faculty this spring.

McInnis has served as president of Stony Brook, a public university in New York, since 2020, overseeing its academics and research as well as its medical center, among other responsibilities.

Richard Larson, a linguistics professor and chair of the Senate at Stony Brook University, said the first three years of his tenure have been a “resounding success.” She orchestrated their response to the pandemic in 2020, led the creation of an international center focused on climate change solutions, and made a historic unrestricted gift of $500 million to the school’s endowment.

But she is leaving following protests and a police crackdown that many students and faculty opposed, he said. “Despite his wonderful accomplishments in the first three years,” Larson said, McInnis narrowly survived a censure vote this spring, and the Senate voted to request that charges and disciplinary measures against protesters be dropped.

“This is a good example of the pressures that even high-ranking presidents are under,” he said, comparing them to wartime and peacetime leaders.

Joshua Bekenstein, senior administrator of Yale Corp., the school’s highest governing body, said in a letter to the campus community Wednesday that the search committee had heard from more than 2,000 community members, who named more than 100 people. The search committee also reached out to other leaders as part of the process.

He described McInnis as a “compelling leader, distinguished scholar and dedicated educator” and said she brings “a deep understanding of higher education and an unwavering commitment to our mission and academic priorities.” Her experience and accomplishments over the past three decades have prepared her to lead Yale in the years to come. »

McInnis previously served as dean and executive vice president at the University of Texas at Austin and spent many years in academic and administrative positions at the University of Virginia.

McInnis received his doctorate from Yale and was a member of the Yale Corp. His research in cultural history has focused on art, politics, race, and slavery in the 19th-century American South.

She will succeed longtime leader Peter Salovey, Yale’s president since 2013. He announced at the start of the school year that he would resign at the end of this year and return to the faculty.

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