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Yale 62

Maurie McInnis is Yale’s New President

credit: Stony Brook University

By Lee G. Bolman

The search is over and Yale has a new president — Maurie McInnis ‘96Ph.D. A cultural historian, McInnis previous served as Provost at the University of Texas and four years as president of Stony Brook University. She will begin her tenure on July 1.

McInnis told the Yale Daily News, “I’m so honored and humbled to be able to be Yale’s next leader, the chance to come back to my alma mater, to an institution that has such a positive impact on people across the world. I do understand that the fact that I will be the first non-interim woman serving in that role means that I can play an important role as a role model.”

As a scholar, McInnis has focused on the relationship between art and politics in early America. Among her highly-lauded books is Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and The American Slave Trade, which uses art as a powerful vehicle to explore the American slave trade.

At Stony Brook, an elite research university within the State University of New York, McInnis is credited with decisive leadership that strengthened scholarship and the university’s public image. She brought in the largest private gift in Stony Brook’s history, a $500 million unrestricted endowment from the Simons Foundation.

McInnis has said that presidents inevitably make decisions that some people don’t like, and that has been true at Stony Brook. Some faculty complain that her leadership style is high on decisiveness, but short on listening and transparency. Some faculty criticized her handling of pro-Palestine protests this Spring. After a March 26 incident in which nine pro-Palestine demonstrators were arrested during a sit-in demonstration at the University’s Administration Building, a group of faculty members held a second sit-in the following day to “draw attention to the criminalization of protest.”

After completing her Ph.D. at Yale in 1996, McInnis returned to her undergraduate institution, the University of Virginia, where she had been a Jefferson Scholar and graduated with highest distinction. On her return, she served over time as a professor of art history, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, and vice provost for academic affairs.

For the first time in recent memory, the Yale corporation chose one of its own as president. McInnis has been a fellow of the Corporation since 2022, but was not a member of the presidential search committee.

 
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1 comment to Maurie McInnis is Yale’s New President

  • Jan Greer

    This word salad from Yale’s next president?

    “I’m so honored and humbled to be able to be Yale’s next leader, the chance to come back to my alma mater, to an institution that has such a positive impact on people across the world. I do understand that the fact that I will be the first non-interim woman serving in that role means that I can play an important role as a role model.”

    Ahem, to excise extraneous words and add a few that might better serve:

    “I’m honored and humbled to be Yale’s next leader; the chance to come back to my alma mater-an institution that has such a positive impact on people around the world. I understand I will be the first non-interim woman in that position, which also offers me the opportunity to serve as a role model for others in academia.”

    Ed. note – (Sorry, not sorry. I have long read with a red pencil in my head.)

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